Why Hans Riemer for County Executive

The choice for Montgomery County’s Chief Executive really comes down to Leadership. By that I mean, someone who literally gets out in front and leads our community to new solutions and in new directions to resolve long-standing problems. I am convinced that Hans Riemer is not only the best choice for County Executive, but that he will do a great job.

I’ve known Hans Riemer for a good many years. Here’s what I would want voters to know about him. First, we are truly lucky to have a candidate as smart and experienced as he is.

Hans has served three terms (since 2010) as an at-large member of the County Council. Thus, he has repeatedly won broad public support across the county.

Hans brings an enormous aptitude for dealing with both social and economic equity issues in our rapidly growing County. At a young age Hans fought for the voices of both seniors and young people. He helped lead the national fight to defeat George Bush’s hairbrained idea to privatize Social Security. Working for candidate Obama, Hans led the National Youth Vote campaign that was important to Obama’s victory.

Hans has fought for the Purple Line since its early planning days because for him the “PL” will not only stimulate commerce and job creation, but will also increase accessibility for lower income and immigrant families. He is concerned about expanding all types of mobility.

Concerns about climate change led Hans to propose building the County’s first large-scale solar panel arrays, a plan nixed by the current county executive.

On the foremost issue of insufficient affordable housing, Hans proposed incentivizing high-rise housing construction over Metro and Purple Line stations (Bill 29-20). He led the County Council’s override of Marc Elrich’s veto. Hans will tell you building more housing is critical to keeping middle income people (teachers and firefighters) in the county and stemming the tide of fast rising housing prices.

Hans opposes widening the Beltway (I-495) and supports improvements to the American Legion Bridge and I-270. Hans has worked to alter the County’s unbelievably arcane liquor laws that harm both consumers and restaurant owners.

The list could go on. All of these issues have no finger-snapped answers, but at least Hans is not afraid to take them on.

How to characterize Hans as a person? The first thing I noticed when my wife Nancy and I first met him years ago is his friendliness and willingness to take the time to chat and engage in casual conversation. Hans is never in a hurry to shake the next person’s hand. Speaking as a former city council member, I know when voters express their concerns, most folks simply want a chance to be carefully listened to. Not necessarily to expect an instant solution, nor an argument or a brush off. Hans will lend you his ear along with a dose of candor and gentle sense of humor.

Hans is neither partisan nor parochial. He’s worked collegially for years with all his fellow council members. A California educated son of activist parents, Hans brings an open-minded national perspective to addressing today’s issues; unlike his two opponents. He doesn’t think he’s smarter than everyone else or that he has all the answers. But, we can expect he will get things done.

At 49, Hans is a full generation younger than the incumbent Marc Elrich. He and his wife Angela have two young kids in school. That’s important for being in touch with a big county that’s growing fast and changing demographically. Since 2006 the county has grown by 18%, increased greatly in diversity and become a majority minority jurisdiction.

According to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, our county will become home to 60,000 additional households by 2040.

We all know these are, without exaggeration, scary times. Domestic terrorism, out of control gun assaults, global warming, a terrible war in Ukraine, food shortages, and rising gas prices. We need fresh leadership in our county:  someone really smart, politically seasoned, young and vigorous who has a good sense of what needs to be done, and how to do it.

Come July 19, let’s vote for Hans Riemer.

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