Hoan Dang Files for At-Large Seat on County Council


A 30-year community organizer from Wheaton has filed to run for one of four at-large positions on the Montgomery County Council.

“I feel that with my experience and the skill set I have, I can help solve some of the long-standing issues in the county,” Hoan Dang said.

He said he wanted to focus on three problems: affordable housing, school crowding and traffic congestion.

“By my nature, I love solving problems. I see them as challenges. That’s what gets me up in the morning,” Dang said.

Dang, 50, lives in Wheaton and works as a senior program analyst for a federal contractor. He made an unsuccessful bid in 2010 to be a member of the Maryland House of Delegates for District 19.

Born in Vietnam, Dang is a former refugee and has lived in Montgomery County for 40 years.

“I bring that perspective to the one-third foreign born in our county,” Dang said.

He said he would take advantage of the county’s public election fund, which limits the size of contributions. In return, candidates can leverage their collections into subsidies from the county.

At-large councilmember candidates can receive $250,000 from the fund if they raise $20,000 from 250 qualifying contributions. No contribution can be more than $150, and no contribution can be from a political action committee, a corporation, a labor organization, or a state or local central committee.

Passed in 2014, the 2018 races will be first time candidates have access to the fund, which has $11 million.

Dang said he had no concerns that he would be able to reach the minimums based on his fundraising from his 2010 race.

“I still have a network from then,” he said. “I raised quite a bit of money back then.”

The Democratic primary for the council at-large race is expected to garner a dozen or candidates. Dang and three others have filed. Four others have filed their intentions to use the public election fund. At least two have made public their intentions to run.

Paul Bessel, chairman of the Montgomery County Charter Review Commission, posted a list on Facebook in May of potential candidates, and had a list of more than 25.

“It does mean probably the better known candidates are going to have an advantage,” said Lee Annis, political science professor at Montgomery College.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at dtallman@mymcmedia.org or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


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