By Adam Pagnucco.
Update: Council District 5 candidate Kevin Harris has also filed for matching funds on May 15, claiming $12,400 in qualifying contributions from 176 in-county residents.
Original Post: Council District 1 candidate Jim McGee filed for public matching funds on May 15. His filing claims 157 qualifying contributors and $36,580 in qualifying contributions, above the respective thresholds for a district race of 125 and $10,000. Two other District 1 candidates have qualified for matching funds, including Delegate Ana Sol Gutierrez and Reggie Oldak, who has already applied for the maximum amount ($125,000) available under the program.
On Monday, we wrote that county law stated that the qualifying period for matching funds ended 45 days before the primary, which this year fell on Saturday, May 12. That is true. But at the time, we did not know that the State Board of Elections had allowed candidates to file as late as May 15 with only qualifying contributions received by May 12 eligible for matching funds. A reader brought that to our attention and we updated the post. But we are gonna own this one: we screwed up. Your author apologizes to Jim McGee and Seventh State readers.
Then there is Robin Ficker, who is running for Executive in the public financing program. Ficker registered his public account on 2/8/17 and so far has not qualified for matching funds. (The other Executive candidates in public financing – Marc Elrich, George Leventhal and Rose Krasnow – qualified some time ago.) Ficker told Bethesda Magazine that he was unaware that he was subject to the 45-day qualifying period because he has no primary opponent. In order to qualify for matching funds, Executive candidates need 500 contributions from individuals living in the county totaling at least $40,000. Ficker then sent an application for matching funds on May 15 but it asked for… zero dollars.
Can anyone figure this out for us? Because we admit it – we can’t!