After nearly 20 years serving on the Gaithersburg City Council, Henry Marraffa Jr., a Republican, hopes to move up to the mayor’s seat in this fall’s election.
The former council member is focusing his campaign on economic development. He specifically mentioned the MD-355 corridor, Lakeforest and eastern Gaithersburg in general as all having room to grow commercially.
He touted past efforts to build out the RIO Washingtonian Center, a commercial hub for restaurants and retail stores, despite early criticism of the development.
As for future development projects, Marraffa said that he would like to construct an arena with structured parking on the Gaithersburg Fairgrounds which would serve as a venue for concerts, plays, and high school graduations.
First elected to the city council in 1995, Marraffa began serving three years before former Mayor W. Edward Bohrer died in office. That paved the way for the council to appoint Sydney Katz mayor and served in that office until his election to the County Council last year.
Marraffa graduated from Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring and earned two college degrees: one in engineering from the University of Maryland and a bachelor of business administration (BBA) degree from Southeastern University.
He worked as a contractor, including high-profile projects such as the construction of Disney World and the World Trade Center. He cites his business experience as one of his qualifications for mayor.
Prior to his election to the city council, Marraffa served on Gaithersburg’s board of appeals. He was appointed to the Maryland Physical Fitness Commission in 1985. He lives in Gaithersburg with his wife Donna. They have five children and six grandchildren.