Montgomery County elected a new county executive for the first time since 2006, and will send three new at-large members to Rockville to serve on the County Council.
Councilmember Marc Elrich (D-At Large), after surviving a close primary race against businessman David Blair, earned 225,900 votes (64.3 percent) in unofficial results as of 11:42 p.m. last night.
Elrich soundly defeated Councilmember Nancy Floreen (D-At Large), who received 67,402 votes (19.1 percent) running as an independent. Both candidates were term limited and must leave the council at the end of their terms.
Perennial candidate Robin Ficker (R) finished last with 57,489 votes (16.4 percent).
In his victory speech last night at the Silver Spring Civic Building, Elrich thanked his supporters and credited the new public financing system for his win.
“Public financing works,” he said. “Big donors lost.”
Floreen, who was endorsed by The Washington Post, delivered a short concession speech.
“I want to wish Marc Elrich the best,” she said. “I wish him well, and I wish Montgomery County the best.”
In the race for County Council At Large, four Democrats were elected.
Evan Glass, executive director of Gandhi Brigade Youth Media, who lost a close race in District Five in 2014 to Councilmember Tom Hucker (reelected with no opposition this year), won the most votes (241,203, 19.2 percent).
First-time candidate Gabe Albornoz, director of the county’s Department of Recreation, finished second with 235,998 votes (18.8 percent), followed by Silver Spring attorney Will Jawando with 233,388 votes (18.59 percent).
Current Council President Hans Riemer was elected to his third (and final) term on the council with 228, 430 votes (18.2 percent), and said serving on the council hasn’t gotten old yet.
“Every day feels like it’s fresh and new and challenges are always different every week, every month, every year. It’s exciting,” he said, adding that his priorities in the next term will be housing, economic development, transportation and education.
Reacting to his win, Glass said, “Montgomery County is a beautifully diverse community and I look forward to balancing the interests of the county to move us in the direction to be vibrant, competitive and thriving.
“The new members of the council each bring unique skills, and I look forward to collaborating and being creative with them to achieve our goals,” he added.
For Albornoz, “It feels phenomenal. As much as I love being the director of the Department of Recreation, it’s really elected office that puts you in the best position to truly impact long-term sustainable change, to be able to connect dots, to be able to connect communities and sectors.
“I want to carry forward the legacy of so many wonderful elected officials we’ve had here in Montgomery County and make sure that we maintain our high quality of life and ensure that everybody has a seat at the table,” he continued.
Jawando was elected in his third race for public office, having previously run for state delegate in District 20 (2014) and the Congressional primary in the Eighth District (2016).
“It feels great,” he said, “just because I just love this community so much and so it will be an honor to serve it and we worked really hard to get out there, so I’m excited about it.
“I think the County Council is a place where you can really, really have a huge impact on things, especially with all the turnover,” he continued. “So whether you talk about education or land use or growth and development, you’re really going to be at the center of all those things, which is really the crux of what Montgomery County is going to look like, so to be able to work on those things with a great team—that’s what I’m most excited about.”
In the District 20 races for seats in Annapolis, Democrats Sen. Will Smith Jr., along with Dels. David Moon and Jheanelle Wilkins, were reelected. First-time candidate Lorig Charkoudian, who takes the delegate seat held by the retired Sheila Hixson, will join them.
Del. Ben Kramer won the state Senate seat vacated by Sen. Roger Manno (who ran for Congress in the Sixth District primary) in District 19. Del. Bonnie Cullison was reelected and newcomers Charlotte Crutchfield and Vaughan Stewart won the other two delegate seats. All four candidates are Democrats.
Incumbent Democrat Del. Al Carr was reelected in District 18. Democrats Emily Shetty and Jared Solomon will join him. Del. Jeff Waldstreicher, also a Democrat, won the district’s state Senate seat.
Top photo, Council President Hans Riemer with newly elected Lorig Charkoudian and Will Jawando. Below, Councilmember Marc Elrich with a supporter (and local photographer/Elrich supporter Chip Py in the background). Photos by Mike Diegel.