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Elrich is next county executive; will be sworn in Dec. 3 –

by Judith Hruz



Reporting by Glynis Kazanjian, Special to The Greater Olney News

and Terri Hogan, Senior Staff Writer


Marc Elrich, the longtime member of the Montgomery County Council who fought off a bid by fellow councilmember Nancy Floreen and perennial candidate Robin Ficker, will be sworn in as the next county executive on Dec. 3.

Elrich, 68, of Takoma Park, received 225,900 vote, or 64.33 percent, to Floreen’s 67,402 votes (19.19 percent) and Ficker’s 57,489 votes (16.37 percent).

Results were still unofficial by The Greater Olney News press time.

“I will never apologize for my support for working people,” Elrich said to his supporters gathered on election night at the Silver Spring Civic Center.

Floreen, a longtime Democrat who did not run in the Primary Election but collected more than enough signatures to add her name to the ballot for the General Election as an independent, thanked her supporters, telling them, “At the end of the day, just know that you made history.”

Floreen, the former mayor of Garrett Park who served 16 years in the County Council, boasted about the numbers: she campaigned for just 120 days, she and her supporters collected over 20,000 signatures and she was certified to run for office only 76 days before the General Election.

In the end, the numbers she needed – the votes – eluded her.

“I want to wish Marc Elrich the best,” she said to supporters gathered in Rockville, “and I wish Montgomery County the best.”

After she left the podium, she walked through the group of friends and family, hugging and consoling them.

In an interview after the crowd dwindled to just a handful, Floreen, 67, said she had planned to get a good night’s sleep and go away for the weekend. She also said she planned to spend some family time and “regroup,” but she was non-committal when asked what else her future held.

Republican Ficker, of Boyds, ran largely on a platform of giving voice to residents of other parts of the county. Elrich, Floreen and the four Democratic candidates for at-large seats on the County Council “live downcounty and stay downcounty,” he told The Greater Olney News during a conversation in August.

Ficker, the lawyer who gained TV attention for heckling NBA sports teams, has been trying for 40 years to win an election. He was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1978. He served one term.

Ficker can boast a victory in 2016, when voters approved his term-limit measure, and one in 2008, when voters approved a measure requiring a unanimous council vote to raise the property tax rate beyond the rate of inflation.


Elrich thanks supporters, sets priorities


Event organizers say that 1,000 people attended the Elrich watch party after polls closed on Election Day.

A former schoolteacher who served on the Takoma City Council for 19 years before winning a seat on the County Council in 2006 (after two failed attempts), Elrich seemed confident of victory after the Board of Elections posted results of Early Voting.

Elrich had 68 percent of the ballots cast during Early Voting Oct. 25 to Nov. 1, according to unofficial results.

“I’m happy. The early voting is big and it usually doesn’t change. It really didn’t for the primary,” he said.

He called his supporters the best ambassadors he’s ever had.

“I’ve always seen myself as an activist,” he said. “I’m always doing your work.”

Elrich said his first policy priority will be early childhood education and closing the achievement gap, which he called unacceptable.

Climate control is also a priority and “Montgomery County will lead the way,” he said.

“I want to build the Bus Rapid Transit System,” he said.

Elrich said becoming more business friendly is another top goal

“We’re going to focus on small businesses,” he said.

“We need to grow the economy from the bottom as much as form the top.”


County Council


In the County Council at-large race, the four Democrats – newcomers Evan Glass (19.2 percent), Gabe Albornoz (18.8 percent) and Will Jawando (18.6 percent) and incumbent Councilman Hans Riemer (18.2 percent) – were elected to office. Voters could select four candidates in the at-large race.

In the council district races, newcomer Andrew Friedson won the seat in District 1 (76.9 percent), incumbent Craig Rice (70.6 percent) was re-elected in District 2, and incumbents Sidney Katz (District 3), Nancy Navarro (District 4) and Tom Hucker (District 5) had no Republican or other party challengers in the General Election and will serve another term.


Sheriff, state’s attorney, courts


Darren Mark Popkin, a Democrat, retained his position as sheriff of Montgomery County with 75.65 percent of the vote.

Register of Wills Joseph Griffin, a Democrat, was re-elected with 76.83 percent.

State’s Attorney John McCarthy ran unopposed in the General Election, as did Clerk of Courts Barbara Meiklejohn. Both are Democrats.




Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Lt. Gov. Boyd K. Rutherford received 1,202,383 votes, or 56.2, defeating Democrats Ben Jealous and Susan Turnbull to serve a second term.

The Jealous-Turnbull ticket received 914,326 votes, or 42.7 percent, according to unofficial results.

Hogan is the first Republican governor to serve two terms in more than half a century.

Shawn Quinn and Christina Smith, running on the Libertarian ticket, received 12,127 votes and Ian Schlakman and Annie Chambres, running on the Green Party ticket, received 10,103 votes.

At the Democrats’ watch party in Silver Spring, there was not a peep in the room when MSNBC call Hogan the projected winner.

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-Dist. 8) congratulated Hogan, saying he knew it was going to be a tough race and that he looks forward to working with Hogan on Maryland priorities.


Attorney General and Comptroller


Attorney General Brian Frosh defeated Republican challenger Craig Wolf, 64 percent to 36 percent at press time, to win another term.

Comptroller Peter Franchot defeated Anjali Reed Phukan, nearly 72 percent to 28 percent, to win a fourth term in office.

Frosh, one of the hosts of the Democrats’ Silver Spring watch party on election night, said the campaign for 2020 started that night.

“We can’t skip a minute,” he said.


Maryland Senate and House


The District 14 delegation to Annapolis, Sen. Craig Zucker and Dels. Anne Kaiser, Eric Luedtke and Pamela Queen, all Democrats, were re-elected to another term.

Zucker received 72.1 percent of the votes. Kaiser received 24.4 percent, Queen received 23.2 percent and Luedtke received 22.7 percent. Voters could choose three delegates.

In District 19, Del. Ben Kramer, a Democrat, was elected to the State Senate seat with 87.7 percent of the vote. He ran for Senate when former Sen. Roger Manno sought, but did not win, the Democratic nomination for the 6th District of the U.S. House of Representatives.

Also in District 19, Del. Bonnie Cullison, a Democrat, was re-elected to another term with 24.8 percent of the vote. Newcomers Charlotte Crutchfield and Vaughn Stewart, both Democrats, also were elected. Crutchfield received 25.5 percent and Stewart received 24 percent. Voters could choose three delegates.


U.S. Senate and House


In the race for U.S. Senate, incumbent Sen. Benjamin Cardin, a Democrat, was re-elected with 64.1 percent of the votes.

In the races for U.S. Congress, incumbent U.S. Rep. John Sarbanes, a Democrat, easily won re-election with 68.6 percent of the vote in District 3.

In District 6, businessman David Trone, a Democrat, won with 57.6 percent of the vote.

In District 8, incumbent U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin, a Democrat, was re-elected with 66.8 percent of the vote.

The crowd gathered at the watch party in Silver Spring erupted with cheers when MSNBC announced that the Democrats had won control of the House of Representatives.

Earlier, Raskin had said that with a majority, the Democrats would protect health care and focus on gun safety.


Early in the day


A scanner malfunctioned at 6:15 a.m. on Election Day, 45 minutes before polls opened at Greenwood Elementary School in Brookeville on what one longtime election judge said was – three hours into the day — one of the strongest voter turnouts he had seen in a midterm election.

Christ Davies, the chief election judge at Greenwood who has been working polls for 20 years, said voters, who stood in long lines – often in the rain — to cast their ballots, were “frustrated but understood.”

A technician was called immediately to fix the scanner. By 7 a.m., the Board of Elections said a new scanner would arrive in an hour. The scanner arrived about 10 a.m. and was up and running in about 15 minutes.

Scanners are used to read and record the votes after voters finish marking their ballots.

About 75 people were in line to vote at 10:30. Some of them said they had been waiting 40-45 minutes. One woman in the parking lot said she had to leave to pick up her grandson but hoped to make it back to vote, Hogan reported.

“I was frustrated, but I stayed,” voter Harvey Lebson said.

Voter Rachel Kehl said standing in line was frustrating, “but I knew I wouldn’t come back if I left.”

Voters also reported issues with scanning machines at Belmont Elementary and St. Peter’s on Election Day morning.
Gilberto Zelaya, public information officer for the county’s Board of Elections, said a new scanner was delivered to Belmont and a technician was able to fix the scanner issues at St. Peter’s.

He said the problem with scanners in the Olney/Brookeville area was “random” and that it did not appear to be a widespread problem in the county.


    The new executive and County Council will be sworn in Dec. 3 at The Music Center at Strathmore.


    For final results, visit the Maryland Board of Elections are elections.maryland.gov.

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