Councilmember George Leventhal (D-AL) has not announced formally for county executive but has all but done so. First, he allowed local Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions (BDS) leader Saqib Ali to launch a website promoting him for County Executive.
Now, Leventhal has started raising money under Montgomery County’s new public financing system using the fundraising limits in place for the position of county executive. He sent an email blast out the other day to supporters.
Leventhal touts that, thus far, he is the “only candidate to opt into the system” and reiterates the message “There is only one!” in red with an arrow pointing to his name.
While technically true, Leventhal is the “only” candidate in the system simply because he is the first to set up an account. Councilmember Marc Elrich (D-AL) also plans to run for County Executive and has made very clear that he too plans to opt into the system.
Unlike Leventhal, Elrich has refused contributions from developers in the past and run much less expensive campaigns in the past. Focus on campaign spending is a new tactic for Leventhal.
Other potential candidates, such as Councilmember Roger Berliner (D-1) and Sen. Rich Madaleno (D-18) may also participate in the system. I imagine that wealthy businessman David Trone would not if he jumps into the race since he spent an extraordinary amount on his unsuccessful congressional bid.
So Leventhal heavily implies that he has a uniquely clean approach to politics while never actually stating anything that is factually untrue. The fundraising email contains no other message about past accomplishments or future goals.