Independent candidate for Montgomery County Executive Nancy Floreen will appear on the November ballot, after the Board of Elections approved her petition Wednesday.
Floreen, who filed her intent to run for County Executive as an independent candidate in July, needed at least 7,255 valid signatures from registered voters for her name to appear on the ballot in November.
After Floreen turned in more than 20,000 signatures on Aug. 6, the Board of Elections certified more than 13,000 of them, meaning she had more than enough to qualify to appear on the ballot.
“I want to thank the Board of Elections for being thorough and patient throughout the process,” she said.
This petition drive was historic,” Floreen said in a statement. “The demand for a more-inclusive choice was fueled by more than 20,000 people in less than a month. We’ve unleashed widespread community support. There’s an obvious and clear desire for balanced, non-partisan leadership for the County.”
Floreen, a four-term at-large member of the County Council, shocked many with her announcement that she would run for County Executive. Floreen, who has spent her entire time on the County Council as a member of the Democratic Party, opted not to run in the Democratic Primary for County Executive, instead choosing to endorse former Rockville Mayor Rose Krasnow.
When it appeared that fellow County Council member Marc Elrich (D-at large) would win the primary, Floreen announced her intent to run and switched her party affliliation from Democrat to independent.
Floreen said she is running because voters should have a third choice besides Elrich and Republican candidate Robin Ficker.
Republican candidate for County Executive Robin Ficker released his first campaign video.
Ficker, who ran unopposed in the Republican Primary, said the two-minute campaign video he released on YouTube Tuesday is about beginning to message his campaign around several themes: his previously successful referendum campaigns and taking a shot at the status quo.
“My opponents have been in office for over a decade, but what has truly changed?” Ficker asked in the campaign ad.
Ficker said the ad is part of one of the key talking points of his campaign — the two charter amendments he helped pass via County referendum, something that he hopes will connect with voters’ discontent with County government.
“The theme of my campaign is that I delivered on the two most important changes in the Montgomery County government since 2000,” Ficker said about his two ballot initiatives passed via referendum.
The inspiration for Ficker’s campaign video came from perhaps a surprising place. Ficker said his ad was inspired by Democratic candidate for New York’s 14th Congressional District, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Ficker said he was inspired by Cortez because she was able to defeat a deeply-entrenched incumbent in New York, Joe Crowley. Ficker hopes to have similar results in Montgomery County.
While Cortez is a self-described Democratic-Socialist, Ficker said her politics do not matter to him; rather her outsider status and ability to reach voters is what inspired him.
“I think that she is a people person as am I,” Ficker said of Ocasio-Cortez.
Digital strategist Jonathan Gallegos produced Ficker’s campaign video, which Ficker said cost him somewhere between $17,000 to $18,000 to produce. Ficker said he hopes to run the ad on television at some point, but is unsure if or when that will happen.