Two-term Rockville Councilmember Bridget Newton officially launched her bid to be the city's next mayor last night. Her opponent will be another multiterm councilmember, Mark Pierzchala.
Newton has pledged to take no money from developers, and has been a skeptic of urban-style development outside of the city's Town Center.
Pierzchala, and the rest of his Team Rockville slate, favor denser, transit-oriented development.
Both mayoral candidates have long records of public service.
Current mayor Phyllis Marcuccio declined to run for another term, and has endorsed Newton.
Marcuccio's decision, and the current lack of opponents for Team Rockville, could lead to success on Election Day for the slate.
There are now three wide-open council seats. Incumbent Tom Moore will lead slatemates Julie Palakovich Carr, Beryl Feinberg and Virginia Onley into the contest.
While Newton has as much of a chance to win as Pierzchala, the Team Rockville council candidates could sweep the election, if it were held today.
Rumored candidate Anne Robbins, a veteran councilmember, has not filed yet. The filing deadline is little over a month away.
The vacuum that would have existed for a slow-growth candidate has now become a black hole.
While Newton vs. Pierzchala will be a marquee race, offering voters a clear choice for the city's future direction, the mayor holds little power in Rockville.
Should no city activists nor Robbins step forward to file, this election would be a blowout for Team Rockville in terms of council seats, and political power.