Floreen closer to a 3rd-party bid for Montgomery Co. executive, but she faces hurdles

WASHINGTON — Montgomery County Council member Nancy Floreen is one step closer to getting into the race for Montgomery County executive as a third-party candidate.

Less than one day after council member Marc Elrich was declared the unofficial winner in the Democratic primary, beating businessman David Blair by 80 votes, the Maryland State Board of Elections directed the county’s board to accept Floreen’s declaration of intent to enter the race as an unaffiliated candidate.

Jared DeMarinis, director of candidacy and campaign finance for the state Board of Elections, said Floreen has a number of requirements to fulfill before being able to run.

First, she’d have to get a minimum of 6,000 signatures on a petition, then she’d have to register as “unaffiliated,” then have to pay a filing fee. And Floreen has to do that while the clock starts running, said DeMarinis.

“She has to meet all the requirements — by law — by August 6th,” he said.

News of Floreen’s decision to enter the Montgomery County race for county executive came as the contest between the two Democratic front-runners — Elrich and Blair — narrowed dramatically.

Late Sunday, with the absentee and provisional ballots counted, Elrich was declared the unofficial winner, with just 80 votes making the difference. DeMarinis noted that two other primaries in the state have generated petitions for recounts.

“This is one for the books,” said DeMarinis, noting the races that have been won by as few as two votes.

The election results will be certified by the state by July 16. If Blair wants a recount, his campaign has until July 19 to petition for it.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated with the correct number of petition signatures that Floreen needs.

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