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Politics Roundup: County Races Heat Up

By Aaron Kraut

Thursday - 4/3/2014, 11:30am  ET

Duncan Releases First Set Of Policy Proposals – Doug Duncan on Wednesday released the first of what’s expected to be many specific policy proposals he hopes will help him beat incumbent County Executive Isiah Leggett in June’s primary.

Duncan released goals and proposals for an “Innovation Economy,” while also claiming Leggett hasn’t done enough to help job growth.

Some of his proposals include: Working with companies such as Discovery Communications and the American Film Institute to grow the county’s entertainment, communication and education industries, creating a best practices initiative with major hospitality companies in the region and putting together a business advisory council featuring “some of the more successful companies in our region.”

Duncan also said he would “reverse the broken promise by current County leadership and sunset the energy tax increase,” a fee the business community has protested against each budget season. Leggett has spoken about the improvements he’s made to the county’s permitting system, reducing the time it takes for businesses to get required approvals. Duncan indicated he’s not satisfied with those changes, saying the Department of Permitting Services is overcharging for permits “and not clearly laying out what residents and businesses need to do to get them.”

Berliner Fundraising Thursday In Woodmont Triangle – Bethesda district Councilmember Roger Berliner is locked in an unexpected Democratic primary race with former ally and at-large Councilmember Duchy Trachtenberg.

Trachtenberg was rumored to be considering runs at an at-large Council seat or even a state legislature position this election cycle. On filing deadline day, she made the surprise announcement.

Councilmember Roger Berliner (file photo)That left two-term incumbent Berliner in a bit of a fundraising pinch. Berliner reported $52,000 in available campaign money in January, with little fundraising activity in 2013. With $122,574 in campaign funds left over from previous races, Trachtenberg began her bid with a decided money advantage.

On Thursday, Berliner supporters will hold a fundraiser at Positano (4948 Fairmont Ave.) with contribution sponsorship  levels of $1,000, $500, $250 and $150.

Listed hosts of the event include Purple Line NOW president Ralph Bennett, Central Farm Markets founders Deborah Moser and Mitch Berliner (unrelated), bike advocate Jack Cochrane, Bethesda Cares Executive Director Sue Kirk and Chevy Chase homeowners Bill and Julie Buchanan, who fought for lower building heights during last year’s debate of the Chevy Chase Lake Sector Plan.

News and Notes – District 16 Del. Ariana Kelly sent an email to supporters touting her parental leave legislation that recently passed in the State House. The bill requires employers to provide parental leave at the birth or adoption of a child. …District 16 delegate hopeful Hrant Jamgochian released a list of local endorsers, including District 18 Del. Jeff Waldstreicher and County Councilmember George Leventhal. Read the press release in the PDF below.

PDF: Hrant Jamgochian endorsements