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County Above Party Raises Almost $300,000 in October

Most of the money in aid of Floreen campaign came from developers

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Screen shot of County Above Party website

via screen capture

County Above Party, the super PAC started by Bethesda developer Charles K. Nulsen III to help independent candidate Nancy Floreen in her county executive bid, has raised $279,500 since the beginning of October. The figures are based on the latest report filed Oct. 19 with the Maryland State Board of Elections.

Nulsen, the president of Washington Property Co., started the Super PAC Aug. 29, following Floreen’s official entrance into the race as an unaffiliated candidate. Floreen, a four-term member of the Montgomery County Council, was previously a Democrat but shed her party affiliation in order to challenge fellow council member Marc Elrich, who won the June 26 Democratic primary. Most of the contributions to the Super PAC appear to be from developers. The two candidates and Robin Ficker are running in the Nov. 6 election.

According to the report, the largest contributions in October were:

-A $30,000 contribution on Oct. 15 from Gallery Associates LLC, which has the same Bethesda address listed as the property management company Donohoe;

-A $25,000 contribution from the trade association Associated Builders and Contractors of Metro Washington Inc. on Oct. 16;

-A $25,000 contribution from David Flanagan, president of Elm Street Development, on Oct. 11;

-A $25,000 contribution from The Chevy Chase Land Co. on Oct. 11; and

-Two $25,000 contributions on Oct. 12 from a Rockville address that appears to be the developer Willco. One contribution is labeled as being from the Washington Science Center, and the other from Wilgus-Montrose.

County Above Party cannot coordinate with Floreen’s campaign, but is allowed to work on her behalf. Super PACs, unlike campaign committees, can accept unlimited contributions. Floreen’s campaign can only accept up to $6,000 from each entity. Elrich may only accept contributions from individuals of up to $150 each because he is using the county’s new public financing system. Floreen was not eligible for public financing due to her late entry into the race.

County Above Party mainly spent its money this month on direct mail and postage, which together was about $270,000. The Super PAC also spent about $25,000 on online advertising and website development.

While County Above Party has been largely developer-backed, the Super PAC Progressive Maryland Liberation Alliance, which is working to support Elrich and oppose Floreen, has received most of its contributions from unions. Last week that Super PAC reported that it had raised $131,000 since Sept. 27, 90 percent of which was from unions. Several unions that have endorsed Elrich campaign have donated to the Super PAC.

Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com

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