Let the Game Begin
From the time I was 4 until I was well into
adulthood, I was immersed in the world of politics.
My father, T. Clark Hull, was a Connecticut state
senator for eight years, lieutenant governor for three
years, and then served as a state judge for the rest of
his career. (His campaign slogan: “Give ’em Hull.”)
It made for an interesting childhood. I was adept
at campaigning door to door, could recite his stump
speech (and jokes), knew all the great hiding places
in the state Capitol building in Hartford, and got
used to people asking, “Are you T. Clark Hull’s son?”
(I recall fondly a time in my 20s when someone
asked my dad, “Are you Steve Hull’s father?”)
By the time I headed to the University of Connecticut, I was hooked. I became a political science major, started working as press secretary for
a congressional campaign before I graduated, and
assumed I eventually would run for office myself.
Then a funny thing happened: The congressional
candidate for whom I was working was elected, and
I spent the next three years working on Capitol Hill.
I worked in Congress in the late ’70s and early
’80s. It was a kinder, gentler time in politics. But I
was struck nevertheless by the constant pressure to
raise money, the relentless demands of donors, and
the personal sacrifices that members had to make
(especially time away from their families).
By the time I left the Hill, my desire to run for
office was gone, but my love of the sport of politics
Editor-in-chief and publisher
From left to right,
front row: Lisa Heaton,
Shannon Wilson, Meghan
K. Murphy, Stephanie
Salameh. Second row:
Sherri Greeves, Penny
Skarupa, Susan Hull,
Lindsay Lithgow, Laura
Goode. Third row:
Lisa Shroder, Julie Rasicot,
Maire McArdle. Fourth
row: Emma Patti,
LuAnne Spurell, Amanda
Duggan. Not pictured:
continues to this day. As editor-in-chief and publisher of this magazine, my focus these days is on
Thankfully, politics in Montgomery County has
none of the partisan rancor that’s paralyzing Congress and legislative bodies around the country. That
isn’t because county officeholders are above rancor.
It’s simply because the Democrats have no Republicans with whom to fight. Democrats hold every position at every level here.
Politicians being politicians, one-party control
means that eventually the officeholders turn on each
other—and that’s exactly what’s happening in the 2014
race for county executive. Former County Executive
Doug Duncan is challenging incumbent Ike Leggett
for the Democratic nomination. Veteran political
writer Louis Peck previews the race in “Ready to Rumble” on page 70 of this issue.
The Duncan/Leggett race has all the makings of
a colossal battle: Duncan is boisterous and opinionated, and governed the county through 12 years of
explosive growth (and spending). Leggett is measured (some say dull), and has spent much of the last
eight years dealing with the consequences of Duncan’s spending and, of course, the recession. Many
insiders believe the 68-year-old Leggett is running
simply to make sure that Duncan isn’t elected.
I’m interested in the contest because the outcome
will have a significant impact on the future of the
county. I’m excited about it because it will make great
Once a political junkie, always a political junkie.
Each November/December, we run a
photo of our staff on this page. We do that because
I want readers to see the women (yes, they are all
women) who do such an extraordinary job producing this magazine. As the person who is usually the
public face of Bethesda Magazine, I get to hear the
many kind things that readers say about the magazine. But it’s the people pictured on this page who
deserve most of the credit (and praise). I am thankful for them every day.