Smondrowski Plans To Kick Off County Council Run This Month

Gaithersburg resident is serving her second term on Montgomery County school board


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Rebecca Smondrowski

Via Montgomery County Board of Education

One year since her election to a second term on the county school board, Rebecca Smondrowski is preparing to launch a new campaign—this time, for County Council.

The longtime leader in local and county PTA groups has said her passion for her school board post hasn’t waned, but an at-large council seat would open up new opportunities to support education.

“My experience on the Board of Education, at the state level and within my community, has prepared me to be a robust advocate and champion for the needs of all Montgomery County residents,” she wrote in a statement Friday. “On day one, I will be ready to work alongside my colleagues to address Montgomery County’s pressing education issues while tackling our most challenging transportation needs and promoting economic growth.”

Smondrowski is planning to kick off her campaign Nov. 29 during an event at the Wine Harvest in Potomac, according to an invitation she shared with Bethesda Beat.

The Gaithersburg resident will enter an already-crowded field. More than two dozen people have already filed their candidacy or stated their intention to run for the four at-large seats, including incumbent council member Hans Riemer and Del. Charles Barkley.

“I am so proud to call Montgomery County my home, and I would be truly humbled by the opportunity to serve its residents on the County Council,” she wrote.

Smondrowski, 49, who represents District 2, was first elected to the school board in 2012 and serves as chair of the committee on special populations. She has worked as a legislative aide for Sen. Roger Manno and has held leadership positions in the Montgomery County Council of Parent Teacher Associations.

One of her two children is enrolled in Montgomery County Public Schools, while the other is an MCPS graduate, according to her online school board profile.

Smondrowski, a Democrat, hadn’t yet filed as a council candidate with the Maryland State Board of Elections as of Friday afternoon. The most recent state campaign finance report showed she had more than $10,000 in her campaign account in mid-January.

If she wins, she wouldn’t be the first school board member to make the leap to the County Council. Nancy Navarro left her post on the board of education in 2009 when she won a special election for a seat on the County Council. 

When a school board member leaves mid-term, the remaining members choose a “qualified individual” to fill the vacancy, according to the board’s handbook. Board members must be registered to vote in Montgomery County and can’t serve in the role while working for the school system.

Bethany Rodgers can be reached at bethany.rodgers@bethesdamagazine.com.

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