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Rice: Montgomery County Must Remain State's Economic Engine

Craig Rice is the youngest African American to serve on the Mongtomery County Council. He took office Tuesday as its new president.

Craig Rice, who on Dec. 3 was unanimously selected as the new president of the Montgomery County Council, made the traditional presentation of a gavel to outgoing Council President Nancy Navarro. Submitted photo
Craig Rice, who on Dec. 3 was unanimously selected as the new president of the Montgomery County Council, made the traditional presentation of a gavel to outgoing Council President Nancy Navarro. Submitted photo

The Montgomery County Council Tuesday unanimously elected Craig Rice as president and George Leventhal as vice president of the council, according to a news release. They will serve one-year terms as officers of the council.

Rice, who lives in Germantown and represents District 2, served as vice president of the council for the past year. He is beginning his fourth year on the council and previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates.

“Over this next year it will be imperative that we continue to function as ‘One Montgomery,’” Rice said upon taking office. “Working hand in hand with County Executive Leggett and his staff, Superintendent Starr and the school board, we will make sure Montgomery County stays on track as the economic engine and education leader of the state.”

Rice was elected to the County Council in November 2010. He is the youngest African American to ever serve on the council and only the second African American man to serve in that role. He is a member of the Council’s Education Committee and its Health and Human Services Committee, where he serves as the lead member for libraries.

A lifelong resident of Montgomery County, in the fall of 2006, he was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates, defeating a 12-year incumbent. He served on the Ways and Means Committee and was a member of both its Education and Revenues subcommittees. He also served on Montgomery Delegation's Land Use and Transportation Committee.

Leventhal, who served as Council President in 2006, is in his third term as an at-large member of the council. First elected in 2002, he chairs the Council's Health and Human Services Committee and he also serves on the Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee.

Prior to his election to the County Council, he served as chairman of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee and as legislative director to U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski. He has been a resident of Montgomery County most of his life and lives in Takoma Park. 

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