Sunday, May 18, 2008

Just How Dominant are the Democrats in Montgomery County?

From Marc Korman:

We all know that Democrats are dominant in Montgomery County. But have you ever thought about what that really means?

Don Praisner’s election earlier this week to the County Council ensures that the Council will remain 100% Democratic, with 9 out of 9 members as Democrats.

Since Jean Cryor’s defeat in 2006, 24 out of 24 State Delegates from Montgomery County have been Democrats.

Since 2002, 8 out of 8 State Senators from Montgomery County have been Democrats.

As of April 2008, there are 288,414 registered Democrats in Montgomery County, compared to 121,265 Republicans. Unaffiliated voters are close behind with 102,864. Back in April of 2004, there were only 257,825 registered Democrats, compared to 126,894 registered Republicans and 92,659 unaffiliated voters. That means Republican numbers have declined over the past four years while total registration has increased by over 35,000.

There are 19 municipalities in Montgomery County. Although their elections tend to be non-partisan, at least 15 are headed by registered Democrats. The Chairman of Chevy Chase View is unaffiliated, the Chairman of the Village of Chevy Chase Section 5 and the Laytonsville Mayor are Republicans, and no information was available about the head of the Martin’s Additions Village Council.

So is this type of political dominance healthy? It depends. As long as Democrats are not walking in lock step with one another and continuing to have healthy debates and providing good government, then there really is not much of a problem.

Take the County Council’s budget debates for example, heavily covered by Adam and David here at MPW. The members of the Council have different positions on what the next budget should look like, but they are all rooted in the idea that government should provide good services to the people, helping to lift everyone’s quality of life. This is a Democratic idea that the various Councilmembers have different paths to achieve.

As a member of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee, I must admit I am biased in favor of the Democrats. But as long as our elected officials remain responsive to their constituents and responsible in their leadership, I think residents will continue to reward the Democratic Party.