Following the first absentee vote, the choice for Democratic county executive remains a close race in Montgomery County, Maryland. Only 149 votes separated three-term Montgomery County Council member Marc Elrich – 36,117 (28.95 percent) and businessman David Blair – 35,968 (28.9 percent). Elrich received support of progressives and Blair, who contributed $2 million to his own campaign, received an endorsement from The Washington Post.
A total of six candidates competed for the Democratic nomination. Former Rockville mayor Rose Krasnow came in third with 15.2 percent. County Council member Roger Berliner received 12.9 percent, George Leventhal 10.3 percent, and Bill Frick 3.6 percent of the vote.
Due to a computer glitch with the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration, approximately 80,000 address/change of address notifications were not sent to Maryland Board of Elections. However, these voters were able to cast provisional ballots and may impact the outcome in this contest.
The Democratic county executive winner will likely be determined after final absentee ballots and the provisional ballots are counted. The Montgomery County Board of Elections website states in regard to provisional ballots: “The canvass will convene at 10 a.m. on July 5, 2018, when approximately 3,167 ballots will be counted. The preliminary indication of Party breakdown for these ballots is: Democrat – 2,600; Republican – 300; Other – 250. It is currently anticipated that this canvass will conclude in one day.” The second absentee count will be on July 6.
If the Democratic county executive race remains this close after remaining ballots are counted, expect a recount.
The Democratic winner will face Republican Robin Ficker, who ran unopposed. Ficker has run for numerous offices over the years and served one term as state delegate.
The state of Maryland elects 47 state senators and 141 state delegates. Montgomery County has six state senators and 18 state delegates on their ballots and only one race remains to be decided. In the race for the third Democratic state delegate seat in District 16, Samir Paul (10,907) has a 37-vote lead over Sara Love (10,870).
In District 17, incumbent State Senator Cheryl C. Kagan (D) ran unopposed and will face Republican Josephine J. Wang, who also ran unopposed.
The three Democratic state delegates from District 17 to advance out of six candidates are incumbent Kumar P. Barve (26 percent), Julie Palakovich Carr (24.6 percent) and Jim Gilchrist (20.3 percent). Only one Republican, George Ivan Hernandez, appeared on the ballot.
When three-term State Senator Rich Madaleno decided to run for governor, District 18 became an open seat. In a three-way race, Democrat Jeff Waldstreicher beat Dana Beyer, 49.7 percent to 36.9 percent. Michelle Carhart received 13.4 percent. No Republican appeared on the ballot, meaning Waldstreicher will be elected in the Nov. 6 General Election.
Former NAACP president Ben Jealous emerged the winner in a crowded field of candidates vying for the Democratic Party nomination for governor. He and Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker were essentially tied in polls that also showed as many as 40 percent of Democratic voters remained undecided a week before the election. Jealous received 39.7 percent and Baker 29.3 percent of the vote.
Jealous and his Lt. Governor running mate Susan Turnbull, a former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party, will face Republican Governor Larry Hogan and Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford.
Incumbent U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D) easily won his primary and will face Republican Tony Campbell. Maryland State Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) ran unopposed and will face Republican Anjali Reed Phukan, who also ran unopposed. Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh (D) will face Craig Wolf (R)—both ran unopposed.
Incumbent representative John Sarbanes (D) received 82.5 percent among four candidates in District 3 and will face Republican Charles Anthony. Anthony won a close race among three candidates in the Republican primary with 43.4 percent of the vote.
The announcement by Congressman John Delaney (D-6th District) that he would not be running for reelection and would instead pursue a run for the White House attracted eight Democratic candidates. David Trone, owner of Total Wine & More, beat Maryland State Delegate Aruna Miller, 40.3 percent to 30.6 percent. Trone ran for congress in the 8th District two years ago and lost to Jamie Raskin in the Democratic primary after spending millions of his own funds. He again spent millions self-funding his campaign in this race.
Trone will face Republican Amy Hoeber who won the Republican primary against three opponents with 67.9 percent of the vote.
Incumbent representative Jamie Raskin (D-8th District) coasted to victory, receiving 90.5 percent of the vote against two other candidates. He will face Republican John Walsh who received 45.2 percent of the vote among three candidates.
Term limits enacted two years ago led to three open seats in the at-large (countywide) Montgomery County Council race. This resulted in an astonishing number of 33 Democrats running for the four at-large seats.
Favorites Hans Reimer (12.2 percent), Will Jawando (9.7 percent), Evan Glass (8 percent) and Gabe Albornoz (7.4 percent) won the Democratic Primary Election. They will face Republicans Robert Dyer, Penny Musser, Shelly Skolnick and Chris Fiotes Jr. in the General Election.
In the District 1 County Council race, Andrew Friedson won in a crowded Democratic primary that included eight candidates. Friedson, well known from his time working with popular Maryland Comptroller Franchot, edged out one-term State Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez, 28.2 percent to 21.3 percent.
Friedson will face Republican Richard Banach, who ran unopposed.
Incumbent County Council member Craig Rice easily won the Democratic District 2 primary with 73.5 percent of the vote. Rice will face Ed Amatetti who won a contested Republican primary with 52.8 percent of the vote.
In the District 3 County Council race, incumbent and former mayor of Gaithersburg Sidney Katz (52.8 percent) survived a strong challenge by Ben Shnider (47.2 percent) in the Democratic primary.
Incumbent Democrats Nancy Navarro (District 4) and Tom Hucker (District 5) easily won their primaries with 90.6 percent and 67.5 percent, respectively.
Democratic incumbent Sheriff Darren Mark Popkin will face Republican Jae Hwang in the General Election. Both ran unopposed.
Montgomery County voters will elect four members in the nonpartisan Board of Education race. In the primary election voters choose two candidates in each race who will move on to the General Election where voters will elect one. In Districts 1 and 5, only two candidates filed; as a result, they did not appear on the primary ballot. They will appear on the General Election ballot.
In the at-large Board of Education primary, Julie Reiley led a crowded field of eight candidates with 32.06 percent. The other candidate to advance is Karla Silvestre who received 28.13 percent.
Patricia O’Neill (60.2 percent) and Lynn Amano (23.5 percent) won the District 3 primary election.
In Montgomery County, 33.8 percent of the registered Democrats and 14.41 percent of the registered Republicans voted in the primary election. Democratic voters would make up 85.37 percent and Republican voters 10.83 percent of the total votes cast.
The General Election will be held Nov. 6.
George Wenschhof writes from Frederick and is publisher of www.FrederickPolitics.com.