Democratic and Republican nominees for Montgomery County Executive, as well as a potential independent candidate have begun campaigning for November’s General Election.
Republican candidate Robin Ficker, an attorney and political activist from Boyds, has begun a social media push that takes aim at bringing awareness to something he calls the “Takoma Park Trapezoid.”
Ficker, who was born in Takoma Park and grew up in Silver Spring, said that the southeastern portion of the County, which includes Takoma Park and Silver Spring has too much influence, citing that three of the four Democratic nominees for County Council atlarge are from either Takoma Park or Silver Spring. In addition, Ficker’s opponent for County Executive, Council member Marc Elrich (D-at large), lives in Takoma Park.
Ficker has used the fact that a select group of politicians lives in portion of the County as part of his messaging, as Ficker turns his campaign toward the general election.
“There needs to be some fairness in representation in Montgomery County, and the way things are set up there now, all the power is going to be in the Takoma Park trapezoid,” Ficker said.
Ficker is using Facebook and Twitter posts to promote a map his campaign made, showing the locations of where the four at-large Democratic nominees live and his two opponents for County Executive – Elrich and prospective independent candidate and at-large Council member Nancy Floreen.
Ficker’s map shows that Elrich and County Council President Hans Riemer live in Takoma Park, while Council at-large candidates Evan Glass and Will Jawando both live in Silver Spring; Gabe Albornoz lives in Kensington; and Floreen lives in Garrett Park. The dots of their homes on a map of the County are then connected with lines, making the shape of a trapezoid, proof that one portion of the County has too much power, Ficker said.
“That’s why I need to be in the County Executive’s office, to give some fair representation outside the Takoma Park trapezoid,” Ficker said.
Ficker has labeled both Elrich and Floreen as “tax-increase specialists,” who the voters have already rejected through a 2016 term-limit referendum campaign that Ficker led. Ficker said he is banking his campaign on the fact that he believes voters are tired of Elrich and Floreen.
Elrich spent Saturday campaigning with Democratic nominee for governor Ben Jealous, along with other Democrats, touring Downtown Silver Spring and talking to business owners. For Elrich, it is the beginning of a general election campaign push after winning a contentious primary election by 79 votes.
While previous Democratic nominees for Montgomery County Executive have won handedly in the general election in the past, with the potential entry of Floreen into the race as an independent candidate, Elrich said that Floreen’s entry into the race changes the dynamics, and he is not assuming his election as County Executive is secured.
“It’s definitely possible she could split the Democratic vote,” Elrich said of Floreen.
While Floreen said in a statement that the race for County Executive could use an alternative voice after a low voter turnout Democratic Primary, Elrich said his and Floreen’s record on the County Council is mostly the same, except on one issue – development.
While Floreen has pushed for more development on the County Council, Elrich has run his campaign on promising to make developers pay more to finance schools and roads. Elrich said his campaign is working against big money interests, which includes developers, which have corrupted local politics.
“I believe there’s too much influence of big money in politics, and politics has become too much of a game of what you can buy and what you can influence,” Elrich said.