Virtual Board of Education Forum
By Laurie Halverson
The Montgomery County Federation of Republican Women (MCFRW) will be hosting a Virtual Board of Education Forum for the MCPS Board of Education candidates. The original plan was to have a live forum at the Potomac Community Center on March 16, but the Coronavirus Pandemic got in the way.
The Stay-at-Home order has made it especially challenging for candidates to reach voters in this county-wide nonpartisan race. While the League of Women Voters has an excellent written voters’ guide available through vote411.org, voters have little chance to see the candidates express their views in person and and learn about their opinions on a variety of issues. Now that we are facing serious shortfalls in the budget, voters will want to hear out-of-the-box ideas on how all students can receive quality instruction with potentially less money.
Candidates are preparing their own YouTube videos that answer four specific questions, lasting a total of about 15 minutes per candidate. The MCFRW will launch the video links all at once through the MCFRW Facebook page, MCFRW.org, MCGOP.com and through other local sources and media. The videos will be available to view at any time before the primary.
Since the primary election has been postponed until June 2nd, voters are encouraged to vote by mail. However, there will be four locations county-wide to accommodate those with disabilities or for other reasons wish to vote in person. All voters in Montgomery County will vote for one Board of Ed candidate for the At-Large race and one candidate for the District 4 race. The top two winners will move forward to the General Election in November. Because there are only two candidates in the District 2 race, Rebecca Smondrowski and Michael Fryar will automatically move to the General Election.
There are 15 Board of Ed candidates participating in the virtual forum: At-Large Candidates: Mitra Ahadpour, Stephen Austin, Anil Chaudhry, Sunil Dasgupta, Paul Geller, Jay Guan, Lynne Harris, Dalbin Osorio, Darwin Romero, Pavil Sukhobok, Lumpoange Thomas, District 2 Candidates: Michael Fryar, and Rebecca Smondrowski, and District 4 Candidates: Shebra Evans and Steve Solomon.
Please “like” the MCFRW Facebook page to keep up to date on the forum and other events. The Federation supports four Montgomery County Clubs: Chevy Chase Women’s Republican Club, Potomac Women’s Republican Club, Rural Women’s Republican Club and Upper Montgomery Women’s Republican Club.
Laurie Halverson is president of the Chevy Chase Republican Women’s Club and a former candidate for the Maryland House of Delegates.