Gaithersburg city councilmember Ryan Spiegel tapped to fill District 17 delegate vacancy

Jun 15, 2023

Gaithersburg city councilmember Ryan Spiegel was selected by Montgomery County’s Democratic Central Committee at a meeting Tuesday night to fill a vacant seat in District 17 of the Maryland General Assembly House of Delegates.

Spiegel will be the fifth legislator in the Montgomery County delegation to be appointed by the committee this year alone in a process that some legislators and observers have criticized as undemocratic. Once Spiegel is sworn in, 14 of 34 state delegates and senators in the county will have been appointed by the committee.

The seat was vacated by Kumar P. Barve, who joined Democratic Gov. Wes Moore’s administration as a member of the Maryland Public Service Commission.

County and state law dictates that, in the case of a vacancy, the county’s central committee must run the process for selecting a prospective candidate in the district. The committee will submit the name to Moore, who is required to make an appointment within 30 days after the vacancy. Spiegel will serve the rest of Barve’s term, ending in November 2026.

District 17 includes parts of Rockville and Gaithersburg.

During a forum last week, Spiegel said he wants to focus on affordable housing, gun violence prevention and financial empowerment.

Spiegel ran in the 2006 Democratic primary for House District 17 and in the 2014 Democratic primary for County Council District 3. He’s partner at Thompson Hine LLP business law firm

Spiegel won the nomination with a majority of 12 votes, beating out 11 other applicants. Twenty-three members voted.

The other applicants included:

  • Josh Fischer: Child Welfare Services for Montgomery County Government, member of the Board Of Directors of the Montgomery County Renters Alliance
  • Susan Hoffmann: former mayor of Rockville, ran in the 2014 Democratic primary for House District 17, development manager at the Fund for Montgomery
  • Jennifer Hosey: current MCDCC member
  • Tiffany Kelly: community planning & development specialist at U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, anti-poverty advocate
  • Matthew Lee: member of the board of directors of the Montgomery County Economic Development Corp., chief executive officer at A-Tech Systems Inc. in Rockville
  • Johvet Lopez: political action specialist for Montgomery County Education Association
  • Kevin Redden: civil litigation associate at Joseph Greenwald & Laake P.A., chair, Montgomery County Commission on Juvenile Justice
  • Sabria Still: former staffer for County Councilmember Will Jawando (D-At-large), cannabis industry consultant
  • Rebecca Smondrowski: Montgomery County Board of Education member for District 2, ran in the 2018 Democratic primary for House District 17
  • Keith Vance: software engineer at The Knot Worldwide
  • Karl Van Neste: director and developer at KFVN Software, LLC, vice president of the Muddy Branch Alliance

You could read more of this MOCO 360 article here.