Two coun­cil seats in Pr. Ge­orge’s pri­mary de­cided by just a few dozen votes

The Washington Post Sunday - - LOCAL OPINIONS - MARY­LAND BY RACHEL CHASON rachel.chason@wash­post.com

Rod­ney Streeter and Syd­ney Har­ri­son claimed vic­tory late Fri­day in two closely watched Prince Ge­orge’s County Coun­cil races that were too close to call af­ter last week’s pri­mary.

In Dis­trict 7, Streeter, chief of staff to coun­cil mem­ber An­drea Har­ri­son (D), led Krystal Ori­adha, a pro­gres­sive ac­tivist, by 31 votes af­ter of­fi­cials fin­ished tal­ly­ing pro­vi­sional and ab­sen­tee bal­lots. In Dis­trict 9, Syd­ney Har­ri­son, the clerk of the county court, led ac­tivist and at­tor­ney Ta­mara Davis Brown by 55 votes.

Can­di­dates can con­test the re­sults of the pri­mary up to three days af­ter re­sults are cer­ti­fied by of­fi­cials — which could hap­pen Mon­day — said Prince Ge­orge’s County Board of Elec­tions Deputy Ad­min­is­tra­tor Da­neen Banks. Nei­ther Ori­adha nor Brown re­sponded to re­peated re­quests for com­ment.

There were no Repub­li­cans on the bal­lot for any of the nine dis­trict coun­cil seats.

Har­ri­son and Streeter will join four in­cum­bents who are re­turn­ing to their coun­cil seats, three can­di­dates who will re­place term-lim­ited in­cum­bents and two at-large mem­bers fill­ing new po­si­tions.

Streeter, who be­gan work­ing for coun­cil mem­ber Har­ri­son in 2008 and pre­vi­ously worked in D.C. gov­ern­ment, said he was “so ex­cited” by the elec­tion re­sults and feels “poised to hit the ground run­ning and move the county for­ward.” He said he wants to see the gov­ern­ment fo­cus on ba­sic ser­vices, such as trash pickup, in ad­di­tion to cre­at­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties for small busi­nesses and im­prov­ing re­tail op­tions in the county.

Streeter, 59, lives in Hillcrest Heights. He and Ori­adha were among the eight can­di­dates vy­ing to suc­ceed term-lim­ited Karen Toles (D), who un­suc­cess­fully ran for an at-large seat.

Har­ri­son, who was elected clerk in 2014, thanked “each of the great can­di­dates who par­tic­i­pated in the very com­pet­i­tive race” in Dis­trict 9 in a state­ment on Face­book. Eight can­di­dates com­peted to suc­ceed Mel Franklin (D), who ran in the at-large race.

“It can­not be un­der­stated how thank­ful we are for the ded­i­ca­tion and ser­vice each of the can­di­dates have shown the great com­mu­nity of Dis­trict 9,” wrote Har­ri­son, who planned to cel­e­brate with vol­un­teers at a sports bar in MGM Na­tional Har­bor.

Har­ri­son grad­u­ated from Prince Ge­orge’s County pub­lic schools and worked as a small­busi­ness owner and Real­tor. He did not re­spond to re­quests for com­ment.

The four in­cum­bents who ran for re-elec­tion re­tained their seats: Deni Tav­eras in Dis­trict 2; coun­cil Chair­woman Dan­nielle M. Glaros in Dis­trict 3; Vice Chair­man Todd M. Turner in Dis­trict 4; and Der­rick Leon Davis in Dis­trict 6.

For­mer coun­cil mem­ber Tom Dernoga will rep­re­sent Dis­trict 1, for­mer state del­e­gate Jo­lene Ivey will rep­re­sent Dis­trict 5, and real es­tate agent Monique An­der­son­Walker will rep­re­sent Dis­trict 8.

Franklin and Calvin Hawkins, a long­time ad­viser to Demo­cratic County Ex­ec­u­tive Rush­ern L. Baker III, were the lead­ing vote-get­ters in the race for the at-large coun­cil seats. Repub­li­can Feli­cia Fo­larin also will be on the bal­lot for an at-large coun­cil seat in Novem­ber, but in Prince Ge­orge’s, Democrats are over­whelm­ingly fa­vored.

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