Monday, October 8, 2012

DEBATE SCHEDULE: Montgomery County Board of Education Candidates to Face Off // Fred Evans vs. Rebecca Smondrowski

UPDATE: Two readers inform us that there are two additional school board candidates debates. One on WED 10/10 and another on MON 10/29.  
10/10 DEBATE: School Board Candidates Forum on Public Safety, October 10 - 7 p.m.
Long Branch Community Center, 2nd floor Social Hall
8700 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, MD
10/29 DEBATE: League of Women Voters of Montgomery County and the American Association of University Women are holding a School Board debate for all the candidates on Monday, October 29 at 6pm at Wheaton Library.

In Montgomery County, there are only a few hotly contested races on the ballot this November, and much of the attention has been focused on the 6th Congressional District battle between Democrat John Delaney and GOP Rep. Roscoe Bartlett. Meanwhile, the numerous referenda are attracting time and resources from local Dems -- (eg: police union rights, gambling, redistricting, the Dream Act and marriage equality).

But the real sleeper race is the Board of Education District 2 contest between former principal Fred Evans and MoCo politico Rebecca Smondrowski. Over the next two weeks, MoCo voters will have two opportunities to watch the school board candidates square off (details below):

DEBATE #1: OCT. 19 LEISURE WORLD DEMOCRATIC CLUB EVENT - Montgomery County's Leisure World community has long been a hotbed of Democratic Party activity, given that the thousands of retirees residing there have reliably high voter turnout. They are hosting a school board forum on Friday, October 19th (details below):
We in Leisure World have scheduled a Candidates Forum for the 6 candidates for the Montgomery County Board of Education. It will be held on Friday, October 19, 2012, from 2pm to 4pm. It is sponsored by the Democratic Club of Leisure World but since the Board of Education election is non-partisan, our Candidates Forum will be non-partisan too.

We have received acceptances from all 6 candidates, and we plan to have an in-depth conversation with all the candidates, in front of as many potential voters as possible. We won't have rigid time limits for answers, and won't have every candidate answer every question. Instead, each candidate will be given the opportunity to answer the questions he or she is most interested in, and to have a roughly equal amount of time to talk.

We've prepared a handout to help explain the MoCo Board of Education election, and I'll attach a copy of that handout to this email.

Leisure World is a gated community, where you need an invitation to enter, so if anyone would like to attend this event they can contact me (Paul M. Bessel at ) and I'll be happy to invite you so long as we have enough room.
Leisure World Debate Info: Montgomery County Board of Education

DEBATE #2: OCT. 24 PROGRESSIVE NEIGHBORS EVENT - Progressive Neighbors is a grassroots group of Montgomery County liberals, and on Wednesday, October 24th, they too are hosting a school board candidates debate (details below):
Save the Date: School Board Candidates Forum - Wednesday, October 24

WHAT: Montgomery County Education Forum, Progressive Neighbors, Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, and the African-American Democratic Club of Montgomery County invite you to join us for a community forum to hear from and ask questions of candidates for the Montgomery County Board of Education.

WHEN: Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 6:45 to 9:00 pm

WHERE: Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, Assembly Hall –
310 Tulip Ave (at Maple Ave), Takoma Park, MD 20912*

District 2: Rebecca Smondrowski, Fred Evans
District 4: Christopher Barclay, Annita Seckinger
At-Large: Phil Kauffman, Morris Panner
Moderators: Del. Bonnie Cullison, Sharon Dooley, Marva Deskins

Please forward this to friends, family, neighbors, listserves, and share it on Facebook.  For more information, please contact Terrill North at

*Ample street parking and walkable from Takoma Park Metro.

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