Democratic Montgomery Co. Executive race ‘too close to call’

August 7, 2022


Challenger David Blair has demanded a recount against incumbent Marc Elrich.

GAITHERSBURG, Md. — The Democratic primary for Montgomery County Executive is too close to call, according to the Associated Press.

Incumbent Marc Elrich declared victory, but challenger David Blair announced that there will be a recount.

Elrich tweeted a victory message with the final votes still being counted.

“I am honored to be the Democratic nominee for County Executive,” he wrote late Saturday night. “I want to thank the voters. I love this county and care about our residents so very deeply. This primary has been a long journey (and certainly exciting).

Now, with the results certain, we must work together to ensure Montgomery County remains solidly Democratic and turns out for Wes Moore and our entire Democratic ticket. I look forward to continuing to work together to help Montgomery County and all our residents succeed and thrive.”

He also thanked voting staff for their “tireless work.” It has taken nearly three weeks to count the votes. Lawmakers say the process has to change before the November election.

Opponent David Blair disagreed that the results were “certain.” His full statement can be read below:

“After several weeks of counting and virtually all votes recorded, the Associated Press has declared this race too close to call. Given the extremely close margin, we will be requesting a full recount and are hopeful that the outcome will be in our favor.

Sixteen months ago, we launched our campaign to create a better Montgomery County. We believe that Montgomery County can lead the region in good-paying jobs, properly prepare our students for college and sustainable careers, build affordable housing, effectively implement climate policy and take on rising crime while improving policing. As economic and racial inequities continue to widen, we recognize that the status quo is not good enough and we must strive to do better.

We’ve made a powerful statement that our community wants and deserves proactive and positive local leadership.”

Mail-in ballots require teams of workers to open, verify and process, with a two-person team of election volunteers at every table.

Plus, sometimes workers need to track down voters who failed to sign forms, or make other mistakes that require review by election judges. State Senator Cheryl Kagan (D-17) said Maryland’s law prohibiting the processing of mail-in ballots until after in-person voting polls close should be changed to allow workers to get started as soon as ballots come in the door.

“Before the November election, we must fix this,” said Kagan. “We cannot have something like this happening again in the fall election.”

Because the race was much closer than 1/4 of 1%, Blair has the right to ask for a government-funded recount. It could take until as late as Aug.18 to begin.