Floreen May Make Independent Run for Montgomery County Executive

In the wake of a still too-close-to-call Democratic primary, term limited Council Member Nancy Floreen turned heads as she filed a declaration to run as an independent candidate for Montgomery County Executive.

The filing of an intention to run is a necessary step toward a formal bid as a party-unaffiliated candidate for the office. As part of her filing, Floreen indicated that she has not yet committed to a run, but submitted the filing by Monday’s deadline to leave that option open. Floreen was term-limited from running again as an at-large Council Member, and did not run in this year’s Democratic primary for any office.

From coverage on the “Bethesda Beat” political section of Bethesda Magazine:

Floreen, who lives in Garrett Park, said in a statement released Monday afternoon that she filed the paperwork because she faced a Monday deadline to do so, but she will wait until the Democratic primary results are certified to decide if she will run for county executive.

At-large council member Marc Elrich and businessman David Blair remain locked in a tight race for the Democratic nomination for county executive that hinges on an ongoing count of provisional and absentee ballots. After the most recent count concluded on Friday, Elrich leads Blair by 149 votes.

Election officials plan to count more than 5,000 provisional and absentee ballots on Thursday and Friday, which is expected to decide who won the Democratic primary.

The Washington Post also detailed the potentially uncertain footing of an independent run, while currently remaining registered as a Democrat:

In her letter to the Montgomery County Board of Elections, Floreen wrote that she plans to change her party affiliation to independent from Democrat on July 9, when voter registration reopens.

“At that point, my petition drive will commence,” she wrote.

She added that she believed there was an “issue raised about my eligibility” to run as an independent, but she argued that there was nothing requiring her to be an independent until she is nominated, which wouldn’t occur until next month.

Floreen’s filing on Monday complied with the deadline for doing so, but was in discord with state law’s restriction that voters may not alter party affiliation until 11 days following the primary election.

Michael Sanderson

Executive Director Maryland Association of Counties