2018 | Politics

County Executive Candidates Head into Home Stretch of Campaign

Plus: In-depth interviews with each of the candidates

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The county executive candidates are (from left to right) Democrat Marc Elrich, independent Nancy Floreen and Republican Robin Ficker.


After participating in more than one dozen debates and spending months on the campaign trail, the three candidates running to be the next Montgomery County executive headed Monday into the last 24 hours of their campaigns.

Independent candidate Nancy Floreen, reached  by phone Monday afternoon while greeting supporters at the Tastee Diner in Silver Spring, said she said spent the morning campaigning in a downpour outside the Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro station in North Bethesda. She had a few more campaign events planned for Monday and Tuesday, along with a meeting with campaign volunteers.

“Things are going great,” she said. “We’re very optimistic.”

Voters head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots for county executive as well as numerous other local, state and federal offices. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. For a more in-depth look at the three county executive candidates, check out these Q&A interviews in Bethesda Beat’s Voters’ Guide.

Floreen, who entered the race in August after changing her party affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated, said she has been pleased with the tone of her campaign because of its in-depth focus on policy issues.

“We’ve been having a great conversation. We’ve raised a fair amount of money, and I’ve been communicating across party lines. Ordinarily, nobody does that,“ she said.

Democratic candidate Marc Elrich, who couldn’t be reached Monday, said during a campaign appearance last week with Democratic National Committee Chair Tom Perez in downtown Silver Spring that he was optimistic about his chances in the race, but was ready for an end to the demanding campaign schedule.

“I’m thinking about sleeping Tuesday night,” he joked.

Republican candidate Robin Ficker said he will campaign at the Shady Grove Metro station in Rockville on Tuesday and then spend the evening at a Republican watch party being held at Lahinch Tavern & Grill in Potomac. He said he felt good about his chances because he has clearly differentiated himself from his opponents Floreen and Elrich.

“If the people of Montgomery County want change, they have one choice. If they don’t want change, they have two choices,” he said Monday.

And the one thing the candidates wish they had done differently?

“I wish we’d been better prepared for all the vandalism we’ve experienced with all campaign signs. We were a little naïve,” said Floreen, who said a number of her signs were removed from where they were posted or defaced.

Ficker said he wishes he had attempted to get another referendum on the ballot that would have prohibited property tax increases above the rate of inflation. He said he didn’t because the voter turnout is typically lower during nonpresidential election years.

“If I’d have put that ballot question on to put a cap on the property tax increases, then taxes would have been a bigger issue than they were [in the election],” he said.