Pykosh Drops Out of the Running To Replace Durso on School Board

His departure means candidate Brenda Wolff will run uncontested


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Paul Pykosh

Via Paul Pykosh

Former teacher Paul Pykosh says he’s dropping out of the running for Montgomery County school board, leaving only one candidate in the field to replace board President Michael Durso.

Pykosh, 52, said he’s ending his bid for the District 5 seat because he recently moved from Olney to Gaithersburg, which is outside the district boundaries. In addition, campaigning turned out to be more demanding than he’d expected, and Pykosh said he doesn’t want to sacrifice time with his college-age sons when they come home for summer break.

“I just don’t think it’s the time right now for me to fully dedicate myself to campaigning,” Pykosh said in a Monday phone interview.

Pykosh said he wouldn’t rule out a future attempt to win a seat on the board. As a former special education teacher and father of two Montgomery County Public Schools graduates, he said he’d have a lot to offer as a board member.  

With Pykosh out, the only candidate remaining for the District 5 post is Brenda Wolff, a retired federal education official. Pykosh said he hasn’t interacted with Wolff on the campaign trail but has heard good things about her.

“From what I know of her ... she’s a well-qualified candidate, and I wish her well. I think she’ll serve the board well,” he said.

Wolff worked 27 years for the U.S. Department of Education, spending time as a special assistant for gender equity and heading up an institute on finance policy making, management and educational governance. She also lives in the same Silver Spring neighborhood as Durso, the board member she’s running to succeed.

Durso is not running for re-election as he nears the end of his second four-year term on the school board. He’s serving his third consecutive one-year term as the board’s president.

Because the two top vote-getters for a board seat advance to the general election, the District 5 candidates were not slated to appear on the June 26 primary ballot.

Candidates who move past the primary have until July 11 to notify officials that they are pulling out of the race and don't wish their names listed on the general election ballot, according to Donna Duncan, assistant deputy administrator for the Maryland State Board of Elections.

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

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