Monday, February 25, 2008

MCEA Begins Endorsement Process in County Council D4

The Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA) is starting its endorsement process for the County Council District 4 Special Election.

Wednesday’s Gazette will contain the following ad:

MCEA Candidate Recommendation Process
County Council (District 4) Vacancy
Special Election

During the next week, the Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), an organization of over 11,000 education professionals in our community, will be conducting candidate interviews and reviewing qualifications in connection with its recommendation process for the upcoming Special Election to be held in conjunction with the vacancy for Montgomery County Council (District 4).

Formal announcement of the individual recommended by MCEA will occur in March 2008.

Candidates interested in seeking recommendation by MCEA should contact Jon Gerson at 301-294-6232 or email: by March 3, 2008 to ensure full consideration by the organization.
Gerson, MCEA’s Director of Community Outreach, offered our readers the following description of their process:

MCEA conducts one of the most thorough candidate screening processes of any organization in the county. MCEA contacts all incumbents and all announced and rumored candidates for office. We also run ads in both major party county newsletters soliciting candidates to participate in our screening process (note: because the timeframe for the Council vacancy did not allow placement in the party newsletters, we are running a ¼ page color ad in the Olney/Burtonsville/Wheaton editions of this Wednesday’s Gazette). All candidates are asked to complete a detailed questionnaire. All candidates are invited to participate in a personal interview with a team of rank-and-file MCEA member-volunteers from the Political Action and Legislative Support (PALS) Committee. (note: in 2006, over 100 candidates for public office were interviewed.) Each candidate is asked a set of structured questions. The interviews are all taped. The PALS Committee then discusses the interviews, reviews the questionnaires, and makes a recommendation to the MCEA Board. A 58% vote by the PALS Committee is necessary for a recommendation. The Board then reviews the recommendations, considers the broader political contexts, and makes its own recommendations; again with a 58% majority requirement. Those recommendations then go to MCEA’s final decision-making body, the Representative Assembly. At the RA, typically more than 170 elected MCEA Reps from schools all across the county discuss and debate the candidates. Approval of final recommendations of candidates again requires a 58% majority vote.

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