Blair Ahead, Montgomery County Executive Race Too Close to Call

The final results in the race for Montgomery County Executive will take days, if not weeks, to be determined. 

In what seems to be a repeat of 2018, incumbent Marc Elrich is locked in a tight race with David Blair. As of 9:00 AM on July 20, with 246 of 258 precincts reporting, Blair was ahead 28,059 votes to Elrich’s 26,997. The next closest candidate is current term-limited Council Member Hans Reimer who has 10,371 votes. This election is one to watch as the county election officials begin sorting through the deluge of mail-in ballots. Undoubtedly, this will be a race where every vote will count.

Before ascending to the County Executive seat by a close 77 votes, Marc Elrich served three terms on the Montgomery County Council. Most of his time in the executive’s office has focused on shepherding the county through the COVID-19 pandemic. Before his county service, Elrich served for ten terms on the Takoma Park City Council.

This is David Blair’s second run for the top county spot. In contrast to Elrich, Blair spent most of his career in the private sector. He is most known for founding Catalyst Health Solutions, a health care company that provided millions of Americans with more affordable prescription drugs and better access to health care.

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Please note that vote counts are incomplete. Election officials still have to count mail-in and provisional ballots. For context, more than 500,000 Marylanders requested a mail-in ballot for this year’s primary, and those remaining votes are likely to be material to many contested races. However, local boards of elections cannot begin to canvass mail-in votes until Thursday, July 21. Therefore, for editorial purposes, MACo coverage will describe any races where the top runner-up remains within 10 percent of the apparent winner(s) as “pending” and those results as “apparent.”

MACo’s election coverage and analysis rely on unofficial results published by the State Board of Elections. Official results will follow after a full accounting of pending votes. Given delays in processing an unprecedented number of mail-in ballots, MACo advises readers that any close unofficial results are subject to realignment in the days ahead.

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