By Glynis Kazanjian
Del. Ana Sol Gutierrez, the first Latina ever elected to the Maryland General Assembly, has jumped into the race for Montgomery County Council.
Gutierrez, who is serving in her fourth term as a District 18 representative, filed paperwork Monday with the state elections board to run as a candidate in County Council District 1 using public campaign financing.
The seat is being vacated by Council President Roger Berliner, D, a candidate for county executive.
“My decision to run for the County Council in Montgomery County is really an incredible opportunity to continue to serve the residents of Montgomery County,” Gutierrez said in an interview. “The importance of being politically active and involved today – under the current administration and what I see as threats to our democratic principles – means now is not the time to retire and sit by the wayside.
“I think it’s going to take every one of us to become active every day and to make sure we are protecting all of the values that I thought were American and would be eternal and forever. The bottom line is when we don’t protect those values, our families suffer, our children suffer, our society suffers. That is what propelled me to make this decision. I am ready to jump in and continue the fight.”
Gutierrez, 75, currently represents the eastern region of Montgomery including Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Rockville, Silver Spring and Wheaton. She ran unsuccessfully for Congress in the 8th Congressional District last year.
Before becoming a state delegate, Gutierrez served on the Montgomery County school board for eight years and worked six years in the U.S. Department of Transportation during the Clinton administration as a liaison to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
She has a B.S. in chemistry from Pennsylvania State University, an M.S. in Computer and Information Technology from The American University and a post-graduate degree in engineering from George Washington University.
Gutierrez, a native of El Salvador, lives in Chevy Chase. She has three children and seven grandchildren.
She will be joining six Democrats in the 1st District council race, including Bill Cook, Pete Fosselman, Andrew Friedson, Jim McGee, Reggie Oldak and Meredith Wellington, along with Republican Richard Banach.
Guitierrez’s decision means there will be two open delegate seats in district 18, where Del. Jeff Waldstreicher is running for Senate. Sen. Rich Madaleno is running for governor.