Yesterday, Montgomery County At-Large Councilmember Nancy Floreen submitted signatures to the Montgomery County Board of Elections in Gaithersburg so that her name might appear on the ballot in November as a candidate for Montgomery County Executive.
“I am pleased to announce that, in the past 25 days, we have collected 20,343 petition signatures and are submitting them today to the Montgomery County Board of Elections for verification,” said Floreen. “This should give us a comfortable margin above the 7,255 verified signatures we need to qualify to appear on the ballot as an unaffiliated candidate for County Executive in this year’s general election on November 6.”
Floreen, a long-time Democrat, jumped into the race after her fellow At-Large Councilmember Marc Elrich narrowly defeated businessman David Blair in the Democratic Primary Election in June. Elrich, who lives is Takoma Park, won the nomination by just 77 votes.
“Hundreds of people from all over the County volunteered to help in this effort,” said Floreen, “and I am deeply humbled by the outpouring of support we’ve seen. Despite the incredible amount of rain we’ve had over the past couple of weeks, we still prevailed with the help of our dedicated volunteers and canvassers. I really can’t thank them enough. It shows there’s a real desire among voters, one that cuts across all party lines, for a unifying choice for County Executive this fall. People are tired of the extreme partisanship and polarization we see nationally. The last thing we want is more of that at the local level. Voters are looking for a broader, more inclusive vision for this County’s future, and for leaders who can unify us around practical solutions, so everyone can feel like they are being represented.”
Floreen, who lives in Garrett Park, will now have to wait for the Board of Elections to verify that she has the correct number of signatures, and that they are indeed all valid signatures of County residents. She said the she had three times the minimum number needed to appear on the ballot.
County Election officials said that it could take up to 20 days to review the signatures. Maryland State Law provides up to 20 days to complete the signature verification process. “We have had a busy summer. We’ve had two recounts,” said Board Elections spokesperson Marjorie Roher.
If she is approved as a candidate, it will set up a three-way race for County Executive in November, between Floreen, Elrich, and Republican candidate and Boyds resident Robin Ficker. In the June Primary, Floreen backed former Rockville mayor Rose Krasnow, who came in third in the voting. ‘In the Primary, I thought we had decent enough choices. I made that decision a year ago. Trust me, I wasn’t going to do this. But, at the end given the choices that became apparent I became convinced that the community really wanted a real choice.”
“People are concerned [that my campaign] is going to split the vote. It is not,” Floreen told reporters. “Mr. Ficker is going to come in third no matter what. What you are hearing is a demand and a hope for unity among the community not for splitting the community apart.”
While she did take some questions from reporters, she did not answer many saying instead that she will wait until the Board of Elections completes their work and her campaign can begin in earnest.L
Floreen said that she was in the race to win. “I would not do this to make a statement.” She believes that she represents a moderate choice for voters. Elrich is a very progressive Democrat, while Ficker has been a conservative republican. Ficker lead the charge to institute term limits on the County Council in the 2016 election.
Floreen is completing her fourth term as an At-large Member of the Montgomery Council, where she has served as Council President, chaired the Council’s Transportation and Environment Committee, and helped lead successful County initiatives on economic revitalization, school funding, environmental protection, transportation, affordable housing and smart-growth re-development, among other things. Previously, she served two terms as a member of the Montgomery County Planning Board, in the Civil Division of the US Department of Justice, worked for US Senator Barbara Mikulski, and is a former Mayor of Garrett Park.
Top: Nancy Floreen delivers more the 20,000 signatures from Montgomery County residents signifying a desire to have Floreen run for County Executive in November.
Video: Floreen addresses reporters outside of the Board of Elections offices in Gaithersburg on Monday.
Next: Floreen with the four boxes of signature forms and a sign reminding voters that the election is 91 days away.
Photos and video by Germantown Pulse.