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By Just 80 Votes, Elrich Wins Democratic Primary Election for County Executive

The absentee ballots, the provisional ballots, the early voting ballots, and the election day ballots are finally tallied and longtime Montgomery County Councilmember Marc Elrich has won the Democratic Primary Election by a margin of just 80 votes, over political newcomer David Blair.

After almost two weeks of canvassing the total 129,337 votes cast in the June 26 election, the Montgomery County Board of Elections released the results late Sunday night. Election officials say that Elrich came out on top by just 80 votes, earning 37,529 votes, to Blair’s 37,449 votes. Elrich garnered 29.02 percent of the votes, while Blair received 28.95 percent of the votes.

The results announced Sunday night are not yet official; they won’t be official until the results an audit is conducted of the canvassing and counting and the election is certified on Monday, July 16. As of 11:30 pm on Sunday, July 8, Blair had not conceded the election to Elrich.

The overall order of finish for the County Executive primary race was Elrich with 37,529, Blair with 37,449, former Rockville Mayor Rose Krasnow with 19,644, Councilmember Roger Berliner with 16,713, Councilmember George Leventhal with 13,316, and State Delegate Bill Frick with 4,687. No candidate received more than 30 percent of the votes.

In the canvass of final 3,192 absentee ballots, Elrich gained 817 votes, while Blair earned 814. Blair had been steadily closing the narrow 42 vote gap which Elrich held on election night.

Elrich, a resident of Takoma Park, was first elected to the County Council in 2006. He spent 19 years as a member of the Takoma Park City Council.

If the results hold, Elrich will face Republican Robin Ficker in the November General Election. However, there is still a chance that Councilmember At-Large Nancy Floreen will decide to enter the race as an Independent candidate. Last Monday, as longtime Democratic Councilmember filed an Intent to Declare Candidacy with the Maryland Board of Elections to run for County Executive in the November General Election as an Independent candidate.

Floreen said she was waiting for the final results of the primary election before declaring candidacy for County Executive, but in a statement said, “I did not support either David Blair or Marc Elrich. Whichever candidate prevails in the count will do so with less than 30 percent of the third of Democrats who voted — a fraction of a fraction. That’s less than 40,000 votes in a County of more than a million.”

“I believe ALL Democrats, Republicans, and independents would benefit from a third, independent choice,” said Floreen’s statement. “I will announce my final decision on candidacy once all the primary votes for County Executive have been tabulated and certified.”

During the primary election Floreen supported former Rockville mayor Rose Krasnow. Krasnow finished third in the primary.

File Photos

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