Amatetti Declares Candidacy for District 2 Council Seat
“A Republican is going to win District 2 this year,” said Ed Amatetti while declaring his intention to run for the District 2 seat on the Montgomery County Council in the 2018 elections. Amatetti announced his candidacy on Saturday afternoon to a group of about 50 fellow Republicans at a meeting held at the Gaithersburg Public Library.
The Gaithersburg resident ran for a Board of Education seat in 2014, where he garnered 17,426 votes in the 2014 primary election but fell short of the two top vote getters Shebra Evans and the ultimate winner of that election, Jill Ortman-Fouse.
“I am running for D2,” said Amatetti, “for those of you in District 2. I am going to raise your profile and the profile of Upper Montgomery County. I am keenly aware that without your representative concentrating on you, you have nothing because all the other eight council members are down south. And the current representative might as well be down south where his head is at. I am going to use my position to organize you politically, to make sure the county’s resources are turned toward you, and to get UpCounty residents appointed to commissions. You will feel like you are a part of Montgomery County.”
“We have got to change the narrative,” said Amatetti. “So many people in this room have been working so hard to move the needle a tiny bit, and they have just been ignored.”
“The main problem is that our elected officials — and even some of the department heads are getting to the point where they are so detached from the interests of the ordinary citizen, from the taxpayer, from the business person and their employees. They are so detached from the people they represent and so closely aligned with political agendas and special interest groups on the inside of the process that the ordinary citizen gets shut out of the process. It gets to the point where nobody is looking out for you,” he said.
“The second problem is we have out of control spending leading to out of control taxes, and when that is not enough, we have an out of control desperate rush increase the tax base, leading to out of control growth, with disrupts community after community with overcrowded schools and overcrowded transportation. And the amazing thing is we are still behind. We are losing ground. We have had budget shortfalls every year for the last eight years,” he said.
Amatetti’s campaign slogan is “Your Voice – Put Citizens Back in the Driver’s Seat.” To that end, if elected he hopes to give a voice to “people whose interests have been so long dismissed or viewed with alienation.” He wants to have more citizen input in the county government from the budget process to the policy decisions. “Giving those people an equal seat at the table in policy decisions, processes, and the budgeting process,” he said. “Right not when MCPS puts together its budget it has people from the unions and people from the Department of Education in the room. That is not a negotiation. That is a conspiracy.”
“I want to be transformative in this area,” Amatetti told his supporters. “I want to write statutes so that citizens’ commissions and committees have real influence from the beginning of the process to the end of the process and have a say in the final decision. We have an amazingly unique pool of motivated and competent citizens; we don’t need elected officials who think they have all the answers.”
Amatetti joins Tom Ferleman and Kyle Sefcik who have both announced their intention to run for the District 2 seat, which is currently held by Democrat Craig Rice, who has not yet announced his intentions for the 2018 election. There is speculation that he may run for County Executive. Indeed, there are many possible candidates for the County Executive spot. Including former Democratic candidate for Congress, David Trone. The co-owner of Total Wine & More is exploring a run at the top spot in Montgomery County. There are also three current members of the County Council — Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich and George Leventhal — who cannot seek reelection to their seats due to the passage of the Term-Limits Referendum. All three are being considered candidates for the County Executive job.
However, Amatetti’s candidacy seems to have more support from the Montgomery County GOP. Amatetti was introduced and endorsed by Ami Hober, who ran unsuccessfully for as the 2016 District 6 Republican Congressional candidate.
“I like his character, his integrity and all of the ways that he has behaved which I consider to be honorable,” said Hober. “I think honorableness is one of the important characteristics that not all of our County Council people have today.” After his announcement, Amatetti was congratulated by MCGOP Chairman and 2014 District 2 Council candidate Dick Jurgena after the announcement. Amatetti is a former classroom teacher in the District, as well as Montgomery and Prince Georges counties; he is also a government consultant and auditor.
Amatetti said he would also focus on bringing jobs to Montgomery County. “We need to have a county that allows local businesses to flourish and create jobs,” Amatetti said. “We can’t keep saddling local businesses with the public agendas and government’s good intentions. We are not a business-friendly county, which is why Marriott has so much leverage with Leggett, every time they think about moving out of Montgomery County. That is why Nestle moves their headquarters from California to Fairfax County, which, last time I checked is not in Montgomery County.”
As a former teacher, Amatetti said that education was his passion. “I can’t think of an area that has been so mal-affected by political agenda and special interest groups than education,” he said. “It is so shameful what has happened. The problems are so important and so solvable. We have to break down the political barriers to the education reform strategies that are working all over the country; in our back yards of DC and Prince Georges County. They are doing it for less money in other areas.”
Amatetti believes that the solution must include public charter schools and school choice. The problem in Montgomery County is we will try any solution we can, as long as it is blessed by the teacher’s union.”
“We also have to be allowed to recruit and reward the best teachers,” he said. “And we have got to be allowed to re-train or get rid of underperforming teachers. And finally, we have to get rid of some of these horrible and counterproductive policies, such as if a student sits down for a test in Montgomery County they automatically get 50 percent — just for sitting for the test. That is a policy in MCPS for ten years.” He also mentioned that MCPS has eliminated finals and took the school system to task for having “discipline quotas.”
“Why am I running?” said Amatetti. “My cold stone sober reason is that Montgomery County is off the rails and I have the background and experience that might be of service to the citizens of the county. My deep down personal reason is that I am so fired up to change the narrative of Montgomery County, to change the story of Montgomery County.”