By Adam Pagnucco.
Bethesda Magazine just reported that Council Member Nancy Floreen has filed her intent to run for County Executive as an independent. But getting on the ballot is not as simple as filing.
The magazine noted that Floreen is still a Democrat and that could present a legal difficulty. But there is more. According to § 5-703 of the state’s election law, Floreen has until the first Monday in August to submit petition signatures sufficient to place her on the ballot. The law states:
A candidate who seeks nomination by petition may not have the candidate’s name placed on the general election ballot unless the candidate files with the appropriate board petitions signed by the lesser of 10,000 registered voters or 1% of the total number of registered voters who are eligible to vote for the office for which the nomination by petition is sought, except that the petitions shall be signed by at least 250 registered voters who are eligible to vote for the office…
The number of registered voters required to satisfy the requirements of paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be determined as of January 1 of the year of the primary election for which the nomination is sought.
The state’s voter registration report for January indicates that there were 644,179 registered voters in Montgomery County at that time. So Floreen’s absolute minimum threshold would be 6,442 MoCo voters. To be safe, she probably needs at least 10,000 signatures to account for inevitable disqualifications.
She has until August 6 to get them.
Following is Floreen’s statement.
Today I filed an Intent to Declare Candidacy with the Maryland Board of Elections to run for County Executive in the November general election.
Let me be clear: I would like to have waited for the final count of ballots in the County Executive race. However, State law sets July 2 as the deadline for declaring an independent candidacy.
I did not support either David Blair or Marc Elrich. Whichever candidate prevails in the count will do so with less than 30 percent of the third of Democrats who voted — a fraction of a fraction. That’s less than 40,000 votes in a County of more than a million.
I believe ALL Democrats, Republicans, and independents would benefit from a third, independent choice.
I will announce my final decision on candidacy once all the primary votes for County Executive have been tabulated and certified.