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Seniors and Turnout in MoCo's District 4

Supporters of Don Praisner, the Democratic nominee for the Montgomery County Council's District 4 seat, cheered his victory late last night at a celebration at his daughter's home. This morning, Praisner attributed his defeat of School Board President Nancy Navarro to support from seniors.

Praisner, who is seeking the empty seat of his late wife, Marilyn Praisner, pointed to Leisure World - a large, politically active retirement community.

"A lot of them had respect for what Marilyn accomplished," he said. Praisner spent six hours greeting voters at Leisure World yesterday and said many people shared their memories of his wife, who died Feb. 1 following heart surgery.

To check out Praisner's theory, look for precinct-by-precinct results that will be posted later today on the Board of Election's web site.

Praisner said his message of managed growth and fiscal responsibility also resonated with voters. He declined campaign contributions from development interests.

Navarro, who was better funded and backed by a long list of labor unions and business groups, attributed her loss to low voter turnout and a short campaign period. But look for her to try again in 2010, when the seat will be open again.

"I've done a lot of community organizing work and sometimes you have to be patient and build your coalition, and if you do it well, it has a long-lasting effect. Of course, we wish the outcome had been different," she said.

On the Republican side, GOP nominee Mark Fennel, membership director at Citizens Against Government Waste, planned a victory lap this morning at the Glenmont Metro station to thank voters and continue to spread his message of providing property tax relief.

Fennel and Praisner will compete in a May 13 general election.

By Ann Marimow  |  April 16, 2008; 11:22 AM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow  
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