With just 10 days to the July 19 primary, incumbent Montgomery County Council members running for re-election all have considerable bank accounts, with Evan Glass hitting the limit for receiving public campaign financing and spending the most money since early June, according to state and county records.
Glass, who is the council vice president, along with President Gabe Albornoz and Council Member Will Jawando are all running for a second four-year term as at-large members, which represent the entire county. Two-term incumbent Council Member Tom Hucker, who currently represents District 5 (Silver Spring, Takoma Park and eastern parts of the county) is running this time for an at-large seat.
Four challengers also are running for the four available seats in the Democratic primary. Those candidates are: Brandy Brooks, who ran unsuccessfully for an at-large seat in 2018; Dana Gassaway, a former biology teacher who ran unsuccessfully for the county school board; Scott Goldberg, a Democratic Central Committee member; and Laurie-Anne Sayles, a former Gaithersburg City Council member.
Campaign finance reports filed with the state by Friday night’s deadline show that Hucker had the most in the bank account as of July 3, with $161,759. Jawando had the second largest war chest with $102,248, and Glass has $70,039. The reports covered June 8 to July 3, except for Albornoz and Sayles’ reports, which ran from June 21 to July 3.
Glass is the only at-large candidate to hit the $250,000 limit for funds from the county’s Public Election Fund, according to the county’s Department of Finance. The county’s public campaign finance law allows individual donors to give up to $250 to a candidate, who then receives matching allocations from the public fund. At-large candidates are limited to receiving a total of $250,000 in public funds.
Glass, Albornoz, Brooks, Goldberg and Sayles are all using the county’s campaign finance system while Hucker and Jawando are not. According to state records, Gassaway failed to file a campaign finance report with the state by the July 8 deadline, resulting in a $20 fine.
Albornoz has received $209,954 in public campaign finance funds while Brooks collected $189,613. Goldberg has gotten $171,956 and Sayles has received $119,908.
Glass and Goldberg have also led campaign spending efforts from June 8 to July 3 — the end of the last state filing period — with Glass spending $117,584 and Goldberg $96,985. Glass spent over half of his money on campaign mailers, while Goldberg spent almost all of his money on advertisements and milers.
Jawando has spent $85,558 in that time, roughly half on mailers.
In comparison, Sayles has spent $2,012.83 from June 21 to July 3. She and Brooks had the least amounts in their campaign bank accounts as of July 3 — Sayles with $6,695 and Brooks with $15,305. Sayles spent just under $800 on printing and campaign materials, while Brooks spent about $3,900 on campaign staff.
The primary election is July 19. Early voting runs through July 14. Mail-in ballots will be accepted as long as they are postmarked by 8 p.m. July 19 or are dropped into a ballot drop box by that time.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at email@example.com