Wednesday, October 13, 2010

District 19 Senator Idamae Garrott

Prior to Mike Lenett’s election, District 19 had only three Senators over 28 years: Sid Kramer (1979-1986), Idamae Garrott (1987-1994) and Len Teitelbaum (1995-2006). Kramer was the best known since he became County Executive and Teitelbaum served the longest with three terms, but Garrott achieved a stature that bordered on iconic. Gazette columnist Josh Kurtz wrote after her passing in 1999, “To many people, she was the essence of Montgomery County politics, for good or ill: dedicated to strict land-use policies, consumer rights, clean government and measured deliberation.” For some, she was more than that: the spiritual leader of the anti-ICC movement and a saint of the civic community.

Garrott was the kind of politician who was cited as a validator by other candidates. Here’s one example from 1994, when Phil Andrews asked Garrott to chair his first campaign, an at-large council race, and stressed that fact in a mailer. Andrews finished sixth, but took up Garrott’s legacy four years later when he won the District 3 seat.