Updated: Politics Roundup: Four Montgomery Democratic Lawmakers Remain Undecided in County Executive Race

Plus: Women’s groups largely silent in county executive race; endorsements heat up in school board race

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Montgomery County executive candidates Marc Elrich, Nancy Floreen and Robin Ficker

File photo

For the most part, Democrat Marc Elrich, who is running to be the next Montgomery County executive, does not appear to have a lack of support from the Democratic Party. But four Democrats have been notably quiet when it comes to making an endorsement in the race.

Based on Elrich’s campaign website, and interviews with Bethesda Beat, there are at least four members of the Montgomery County delegation in the Maryland General Assembly, all Democrats, that have not endorsed their party’s nominee in the race. They include:

  • District 15 state Sen. Brian Feldman, who represents North Potomac and Poolesville. He said last week he had not made an endorsement but wasn’t ruling out the possibility.
  • District 15 Del. David Fraser-Hidalgo has not made an endorsement. According to sources, he has not been asked for an endorsement by any candidate.
  • District 17 state Sen. Cheryl Kagan, who represents Rockville, said Oct. 26 that she did not expect to endorse a candidate.
  • District 17 Del. Andrew Platt said he hasn’t made any endorsements because no one has asked for his endorsement.

State Sen. Nancy King, who represents District 39, originally endorsed Elrich before Floreen’s entry into the race. Although her name is listed among Elrich’s endorsers, King said in an interview with Bethesda Beat that she is no longer making an endorsement in the race.

“I told him [Elrich] I’d support him, but that was before Nancy Floreen got into the race, and because I like them both I’m staying quiet,” she said.

King said she wasn’t concerned about people seeing her name on Elrich’s website and getting the wrong impression.

“I’m not concerned about that. I don’t think many people pay attention to it,” she said.

Additionally, Lily Qi, who is running for the District 15 seat being vacated by Aruna Miller, has said she does not plan to endorse a candidate in the county executive race. Previously, Qi worked in Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett’s office first as special projects director, and then as assistant chief administrative officer. All other members of the Montgomery County delegation running for reelection have endorsed Elrich.

Elrich has received campaign contributions from a number of elected officials, as well as others who are heavily involved in the party. They include:

U.S. Rep. Jamie Raskin of Takoma Park;

Attorney General Brian Frosh of Chevy Chase;

Montgomery County Council members Tom Hucker and George Leventhal;

Montgomery County Board of Education members Judy Docca and Jill Ortman-Fouse;

Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee Chair Scott Goldberg;

Former Maryland Democratic Party Chair Terry Lierman; and

Former Maryland Democratic Party Chair Susan Turnbull, who is also the running mate of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ben Jealous.

Elrich, an outgoing member of the Montgomery County Council, faces independent candidate and fellow council member Nancy Floreen as well as Republican Robin Ficker, a Boyds attorney, in the Nov. 6 general election.

[Bethesda Beat’s 2018 General Election Voters’ Guide includes information about candidates running for Republican and Democratic nominations and in nonpartisan races in the Nov. 6 election]

Floreen, who had endorsed former Rockville Mayor Rose Krasnow in the primary, entered the general election in August after shedding her Democratic Party affiliation. Her endorsements include The Washington Post editorial board, Krasnow and former Montgomery County Executive Doug Duncan. No current elected officials have endorsed Floreen.

-Dan Schere and Louis Peck

Women’s groups largely stay out of county executive race

Among the women’s advocacy groups, NARAL Pro Choice Maryland has endorsed Democrat Marc Elrich for county executive, after having endorsed all six Democratic candidates during the primary. Meanwhile Emily’s List, which endorsed Krasnow in the primary, will stay out of the general election, spokeswoman Lindsay Crete wrote in an email.

“We do not plan to make a general election endorsement as there are no longer any pro-choice Democratic women running for the seat,” she wrote.

The Montgomery County chapter of the National Organization for Women, which also endorsed former Rockville mayor Rose Krasnow in the primary, does not plan to make an endorsement in the general election, although the matter remains “under discussion,” MCNOW Treasurer Holly Joseph wrote in an email.

-Dan Schere

Endorsements pour in for at-large school board candidates

Outgoing Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett is among those who have thrown their hat in the ring when it comes to endorsements in the Montgomery County Board of Education races. Leggett has endorsed at-large candidate Karla Silvestre, a former county government Latino outreach liaison. Silvestre has also been endorsed by Democratic county executive candidate Marc Elrich, County Council members Hans Riemer and Nancy Navarro and the Montgomery County Education Association among others. Silvestre’s opponent, Julie Reiley, has been endorsed by The Washington Post editorial board, District 16 Del. Ariana Kelly, former school board member Phil Kauffman and others.

-Dan Schere

Editor’s note: The column has been updated to reflect that state Sen. Cheryl Kagan said she would not endorse a candidate in the county executive race. 

Bethesda Beat columnist Adam Pagnucco contributed to this story.

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