Photo of the candidate courtesy Cherri Branson

Why are you running for County Council?

I’m running because I want to provide the steady and effective representation this county will need to navigate through the upcoming sea change in leadership with four members of the County Council and the county executive leaving office. In the midst of this change, the residents of this county need elected leadership that is experienced, committed to public service and ready to lead. I am running because I have the experience and the commitment to address the issues of budgetary and social policy issues that will determine this county’s future.

What are your qualifications for the position?

I was an interim District 5 County Council member in 2014. Before that experience, I worked on Capitol Hill for 23 years, retiring as a chief counsel for a committee. I also served on the county’s Charter Review Commission and Redistricting Commission. I am currently the county’s director of procurement. I am the only candidate that has served in both the legislative and executive branches of the county government.

Are you using public financing, yes or no? If yes, have you qualified for matching funds?

I’m using traditional financing.

What specific policies and/or programs would you propose to expand the county’s tax base?

I want to pursue policies of economic growth that expand the tax base by providing support and assistance for local, small businesses. If we help small businesses grow and help new businesses become established, we can expand our tax base and provide jobs.

I’m an average voter, interested in doing my civic duty but not an avid follower of county politics. Convince me that I should vote for you over all the other candidates.

You should vote for me because I am the only candidate who has served on the council and as a director in the executive branch of Montgomery County government. I have spent my life in public service. I know how this government works and I know how to get results for you—from getting the roads repaired, the trash picked up, to making sure that small businesses have support, and the parks and libraries receive the resources they need. If you vote for me you can rest easy about these issues because I will work on them 24/7.

Cherri Branson has lived in Silver Spring for 30 years. She is married and has son in college. 

She served on several county boards, including the Hate/Violence Committee, the Charter Review Commission and the Redistricting Commission. 

After beginning on Capitol Hill as a part-time legislative assistant, Branson served on Capitol Hill for 23 years, retiring as a chief oversight counsel for the Committee on Homeland Security (Democratic staff), where she conducted investigations into many programs including disaster relief, airport security, domestic terrorism, and the secret service.

In 2014, she was an interim “placeholder” member of the County Council, representing District 5, where she served on the Education Committee and Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee. 

After her term on the Council, she accepted an appointment as the head of a newly created, agency—the Office of Procurement. This office was created by the county executive after several county task forces found the county’s procurement process to be in need of reform. Branson has served as head of the office for two years and has brought transparency to the process, resulting in over 30 percent of new contract awards given to businesses that have never previously held county contracts, and increasing the percentage of contract awards to small businesses and minority- and women-owned business to the highest levels in county history. 

Mike Diegel