2022 | Politics

Rivera-Oven, Yang have largest bank accounts in school board races, campaign finance reports show

Yang has also spent the most among 13 candidates vying for four seats

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This story was updated at 6:40 p.m. June 16, 2022, to include campaign finance information for the three candidates running as a slate.

Grace Rivera-Oven and Julie Yang, both newcomers to their school board races, have the largest campaign bank accounts among the candidates running in their respective races, with about $18,660 and $13,650, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

Rivera-Oven, a former political director, is running in District 1 and Yang, who previously worked for MCPS, is running in District 3. They are two of 13 candidates running for four seats on the Montgomery County Board of Education.

The incumbent in District 1, Judy Docca, is not running for re-election, guaranteeing the seat to a newcomer for the first time in more than 15 years. Along with Rivera-Oven, the candidates in District 1 are:

• Alex Fahmy of Damascus, who works in sports marketing
• Jay Guan, an aerospace engineer from Clarksburg
• Esther Wells a certified public accountant from Gaithersburg.

Yang is challenging incumbent Scott Joftus in District 3. Joftus was appointed in the fall to serve the remaining year of Pat O’Neill’s term. O’Neill died in September.

The other candidate in that race is Bethesda resident Marcus Alzona, a computer scientist.

The candidates in District 5 are:

• Incumbent and former attorney Brenda Wolff
• Retired teacher Valerie Coll of Silver Spring
• Dawn Iannaco-Hahn, a licensed clinical professional counselor from Silver Spring

The at-large race includes:
• Incumbent Karla Silvestre, director of community engagement at Montgomery College
• Gaithersburg attorney Michael Fryar
• Wheaton father Domenic Giandomenico

Per state law, all candidates were required to submit their latest campaign finance reports by midnight Tuesday.

Fryar, Iannaco-Hahn and Wells are running as a slate meaning they “join together to conduct and pay for joint campaign activities,” according to state documents. As a slate, the trio has a bank account balance of $6,949. They have made about $3,453 in expenditures, mostly on campaign materials and advertising.

District 1

The latest campaign finance reports show that Rivera-Oven currently has $18,657 in the bank, the most of any candidate running in the four races on the ballot. Fahmy has $2,476 on hand. Wells has $514, according to her individual filing. Guan had not filed a report as of Thursday morning, according to online records.

Since April, Rivera-Oven has spent about $222, mostly on website development and brochures. Wells has spent about $45 on meeting expenses and online advertising. Fahmy has spent the most, at about $6,200 for campaign materials and fundraiser expenses, according to the campaign finance reports.

District 3

Yang has $13,645 in the bank, compared to Joftus’ $4,443. Alzona filed an affidavit of limited campaign expenditures, meaning he did not receive or spend $1,000 or more in the filing period.

Yang has spent $24,328 on her campaign since April, according to her filing, mostly for online advertising and campaign materials.

Joftus has spent $8,852 on media consulting, online and print advertising and campaign materials.

District 5

Coll has the biggest war chest in District 5 with $7,520, according to her filing. Wolff follows with $5,036 and Iannaco-Hahn has $2,550.

Wolff has spent the most, at about $1,850 for online advertising and campaign materials. Iannaco-Hahn has spent $500 on a mailing list, according to her individual filing. Coll has spent about $310, mostly on website development.


Silvestre is outpacing her challengers in the at-large race with a bank account balance of $4,668. Fryar has $50 in the bank, according to his individual filing. Giandomenico filed an affidavit of limited campaign expenditures, meaning he did not receive or spend $1,000 more in the filing period. Fryar reported that he has not spent any money in this filing period.

Silvestre spent $2,169, mostly on yard signs and other campaign materials.

[For more information on candidates for local, state and federal races, check out the Bethesda Beat voters guide.]

The primary election is July 19. Early voting begins July 7. 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.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com