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Whiskey & Immigrants is our new podcast which introduces listeners to regular, everyday immigrants. We hear their stories, how and why they came to America, their expectations vs. reality and much more. We hope you’ll join us.

Subscribe now on iTunes

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The Post’s endorsements for Montgomery County’s council and school board

ABOUT 50 candidates are on the June 26 Democratic primary ballot for the Montgomery County Council, well over half of them vying for four at-large seats, three of them open because of term limits, on the nine-member body. In an overwhelmingly Democratic county, the primary winners are likely shoo-ins in November; no Republican has won a countywide election in 16 years.

As the legislature for a jurisdiction of 1.1 million people, the council plays a central role in land use, transportation, housing and fiscal policy, among other matters; it also controls the purse strings for the school system, one of the nation’s largest, funded mainly by local taxes. With the county at a crossroads — prosperous but also straining to maintain schools and services on the backs of a tepid business climate and aging residents — the next council’s composition is critical.

Our endorsements in the primary contests are based on an assessment of which candidates are most likely to help broaden a tax base now lagging the demand for services — those who can stand up to entrenched interests and cultivate balanced growth.

For the at-large seats, we support Hans Riemer, the lone incumbent eligible for reelection, and three other richly experienced candidates: Gabe Albornoz, Marilyn Balcombe and Evan Glass.

Mr. Riemer, running for a third term, is a steady lawmaker respected by his colleagues, who elected him as the council’s current president. He has been a leader on expanding programs to help children from low-income families, and on other measures aimed at fostering a modern economy, including establishing a coding program for students and expanding wireless and broadband networks.

Mr. Albornoz served for a decade as director of Montgomery’s Recreation Department, managing thousands of employees, dozens of facilities and a large budget of tens of millions of dollars. Few county officials are as capable or widely admired, including by his own rivals in the at-large race.

Ms. Balcombe, chief of the Gaithersburg-Germantown Chamber of Commerce, is an exemplary community activist, having played key roles in building a local library and park. She would lend a pragmatic, business-minded common sense to a council on which that quality is badly needed.

Mr. Glass, a nonprofit executive, has been an effective advocate for affordable housing, preserving green space and pedestrian safety. Independent-minded, tireless and deeply committed to local communities, he would be the council’s first openly gay member.

In the remaining council



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