By Adam Pagnucco.
There is much condemnation of Council Member Nancy Floreen among Democratic activists for leaving the party and launching an independent run for Executive. Some of the outrage is related to party loyalty. Some of it is related to support for the apparent Democratic primary winner, Marc Elrich. And some of it is related to Floreen’s record in office and historic support by the business community. Those are all value judgments best left to the readers. But one concern can actually be evaluated with data – the notion that a Floreen candidacy could enable GOP candidate Robin Ficker to come up the middle and squeak out a victory. Could that actually happen?
Ficker, who has a long and infamous history in the county, has been running for office since the 1970s. He was actually elected to a District 15 House of Delegates seat in 1978, a decision reversed by the voters four years later. Since then, he has run for offices of all kinds and placed numerous charter amendments on the ballot. Two of his charter amendments – a property tax limitation measure in 2008 and a term limits measure in 2016 – were passed by county voters.
Robin Ficker’s official House of Delegates picture from 1978. Forty years later, could he be headed to elected office again?
First, let’s look at Ficker’s electoral history since the 1990s. He has run ten times and lost on every occasion. In every race, he has been a Republican except for 2006, when he ran as an independent for County Executive. (Twelve years later, that’s what Nancy Floreen is doing.)
Besides all the losing, the thing that stands out here is Ficker’s unpopularity in the Republican Party. He has entered six contested GOP primaries since 1994 and lost five of them. The only time he had opposition and won was when he ran in the 2009 County Council District 4 special election and defeated two no-name Republicans who barely campaigned. The lesson here is that when Republicans have an alternative to Ficker who is not a Democrat, they tend to vote for someone else.
Even Republicans are reluctant to buy what Ficker is selling. Photo credit: Getty Images, John W. McDonough.
When he did make it to general elections, Ficker earned vote percentages ranging from 34% to 41%. But most of those elections occurred in Upcounty districts where Republicans are a much larger percentage of the electorate than the county as a whole.
Now let’s look at the performances of GOP candidates for County Executive over the last five general elections.
One of the untold stories in MoCo elections is the recent decline in electoral performance by Democratic nominees in MoCo Executive general elections. From 1998 through 2006, the Republican nominee did not crack 30%. In the last two elections, the Republican got 34% of the vote. For the most part, these were protest votes as the Republican candidates had no money, did not campaign and were not expected by anyone to win. Another thing to note is that the only one of these elections that had an independent candidate was 2006, when Ficker ran against Ike Leggett and GOP nominee Chuck Floyd. Ficker got just 9% of the vote, another sign of his unpopularity with both Republicans and independents.
Finally, let’s consider turnout by party in MoCo mid-term general elections.
Over the years, Democratic turnout percentage has edged up gradually, independent turnout has increased and Republican turnout has collapsed. At some point, it’s reasonable to expect that independent turnout might exceed the GOP.
For Ficker to win, he would need to hold onto all the GOP votes, win more than 70% of independents and have Floreen and Elrich split everyone else exactly down the middle. That would result in Ficker getting 34% of the vote and Floreen and Elrich each getting 33%. That’s extremely unlikely for two reasons. First, as detailed above, Ficker is weak among GOP voters and Republicans and independents would have a viable alternative in Floreen. Second, for this scenario to work, almost half of all Democrats would have to vote against their own party’s nominee to keep Elrich at 33%. It’s easier to see a path to victory for Floreen, who could win by getting half the Republicans, all the independents and roughly 28% of the Democrats.
Just to be clear, we are skeptical that anyone can defeat a Democratic nominee in a MoCo countywide election. But whatever the ramifications of a possible Floreen independent run, we’re pretty sure that one of them will not be a victory by Robin Ficker.
By Adam Pagnucco.
County Executive candidate Robin Ficker is enrolled in the county’s public financing program and has announced that he has qualified for $231,185 in public matching funds. Those funds are supposed to be used to finance his campaign for office. But his Facebook ads raise the question of whether he is also using them to promote his law practice.
Ficker has run at least three political Facebook ads from his Robin Ficker Law Offices page.
The content of the ads is unquestionably political. But the Facebook page is a mixed bag. It advertises his services as a criminal defense lawyer and has his business phone number. It also offers a combination of political content and promotion of Ficker’s legal work.
To be fair, Ficker’s ads do not advertise the legal posts. But whenever a voter sees one of his political ads, they see “Robin Ficker Law Offices” at the top.
Maryland COMAR 33.13.10.03 prohibits the use of campaign funds for “the personal use or the personal benefit of a candidate.” Montgomery County COMCOR 16.21.01.05 prohibits the use of public financing funds for “personal use.” Whether Ficker is running afoul of these regulations is a matter for the authorities. But if he wants to avoid this issue entirely, Ficker should establish a political Facebook page that is separate from his business. That’s what other candidates do and Ficker should do the same.
In this county executive race, I’ve been looking for someone who can shake things up a bit. This doesn’t mean that I think Montgomery County is a bad place to live or that Ike Leggett has done a bad job. On the contrary, County Executive Leggett saw us through a deep recession and protected key county services by making tough choices. I grew up and love living here.
But Montgomery County is not on a sustainable path. We need to do more to encourage employment and economic growth. The current model of county government cannot continue as it relies on ever greater expenditures that we still have trouble meeting even now that the recession is behind us.
As a result, I’ve been looking for a candidate for county executive who recognizes our many manifest strengths but is unafraid to try new solutions. I’d like our new county executive, whatever their political perspective, not to feel trapped by how we’ve handled matters in the past.
We have a number of excellent candidates this year. As we head down the home stretch of what has been an unusually hard fought and negative campaign by Montgomery County standards, tempers are beginning to fray. I hope we can all take a deep breath and recognize that just about all of the candidates have the skills required to serve ably as county executive.
Rose Krasnow is a triple threat in terms of experience working on Wall Street, having lead a major city government in Rockville, and holding a senior position at the Planning Board. If you speak with her, it rapidly becomes clear that she is extremely fluent – more than most sitting politicians – in the complex issues of the budget and planning. At the same time, her campaign’s emphasis on experience has left me wondering how she’d be innovative beyond favoring growth.
I have long made clear that George Leventhal is temperamentally unsuited to be county executive. Nonetheless, I’d regard it as a sign from above that this blog should continue for another four to eight years if he won, as he and Robin Ficker provide more than enough copy. George is already wearing Superman outfits. Can we get him into cheetah shorts? Seriously though, his support from a group that wants massive new development on River Road, despite no plan for transit there, and for rezoning single-family neighborhoods for apartment buildings gives me the heebie-jeebies.
Bill Frick knows how politics works from his experience in the House of Delegates. Yet he is outside county government and has a real zest for restructuring it, as his leadership in taking on entrenched interests supporting our county’s liquor monopoly demonstrates. Like Rose, he’d like to get the county’s growth engine moving again. Unfortunately, his campaign just doesn’t seem to have taken off.
In my view, Roger Berliner has the strongest “insider” case to make. He has a number of nice accomplishments under his belt, including good work on the environment. Compared to many, he has a far more intuitive understanding of the perspective of ordinary residents on issues such as PEPCO service and the impact of federal tax changes on county residents. He has been making the case that he knows how to innovate (think evolution, not revolution) and has had good success at building coalitions on the Council. Roger has struggled because it’s an anti-establishment year and David Blair has taken much of the oxygen his campaign needs.
That leaves Marc Elrich and David Blair, who are seen as the leading two candidates despite the absence of any public polling data. Despite having served on the Council for three terms, Marc Elrich is unquestionably still an outsider who is not part of the Rockville consensus. He has never been elected council chair. While some might see this as a sign he doesn’t play well with others, it is more of a badge of honor in a year when voters are highly critical of the Council.
Marc makes many happy but others quite nervous because of his strong progressive viewpoint. But he simply is not Montgomery County’s version of Hugo Chavez. More importantly, he is not some ideologue who is all hat and no cattle. This is a candidate who has thoughtful, practical, concrete ideas on how to make meaningful change that benefits all county residents. His plan for countywide BRT remains the best, biggest idea proposed to combat transportation problems that cause development-limiting and soul-killing traffic in a long time.
In Marc’s case, his professed desire to help “all residents” is not simply a code for only the poorest, though his passion for politics stems from working to help people who are struggling. Marc gets that the middle class face increasing burdens. Unlike some progressives, he also understands fully that the county cannot flourish without its share of successful businesses and upper class residents, so demonizing them is not the solution.
Marc hasn’t held executive positions previously but has clear ideas about how he would restructure county government from day one. One concern has been that he has a progressive candidate would cause skittish business to shy away. Except that I think business would quickly see that, while we’d have some real change, the People’s Republic is not upon us.
David Blair has burst on to the political scene thanks to the political ads that he has been able to self-fund and two editorials endorsing his candidacy from the Washington Post. I’ve met David but since he hasn’t previously had a high local profile or been active in politics, he is less of a known quantity to me.
As with Marc Elrich, I would ignore stereotypes that suggest David Blair is the boogeyman is disguise. His having been a Republican many years ago should not be disqualifying. Yes, he is a businessman running for office but he is not Trump II. Though it’s a low bar, I see no sign that he shares any of Trump’s repulsive bigoted narcissistic tendencies. People who know Blair think he is a terrific guy and would be a great county executive.
At the same time, I have some concern with plutocratic politics. I admire successful businessmen but don’t know that his success always translates into political acumen and am uneasy with the idea that the ability to spend a lot of money on a political campaign is a qualification for public office. But not all wealthy businessmen are the same. Jim Shea, a trailing gubernatorial candidate, has been deeply involved in the Baltimore community for years, and has lots of thoughtful ideas for Maryland.
David Blair brings some real assets to the table. He would have instant credibility with the business community. Unquestionably, he has executive skills. Unlike many executives, he seemingly has the ability to hear people and listen to them, as well as give marching orders. If elected, he’ll need to develop them further in order to work with a Council that doesn’t work for him. I think he’ll have the ability to run with good ideas even if they didn’t pop out of his own head.
I’m still wondering how much of a change agent David Blair would be as county executive. On the plus side, he’s an outsider who is not wedded to current perspectives and has articulated various fresh policy ideas. Nevertheless, it’s unclear to me how much change this would mean in practice. I’ve heard that he wants to retain much of the current administration. When I asked the campaign about this, they replied:
We are committed to ensuring the best and brightest lead our departments and are fortunate that many of these leaders are already in place. We will evaluate each position and our approach will be comprehensive, transparent and inclusive.
Voters can view this as a sensible process for ensuring orderly turnover and acknowledging that many good people are already in place who would know how to carry out needed reforms. Alternatively, others will see this as someone who isn’t quite ready to hit the ground running and is still learning about county government departments.
The other concern from my perspective is the need for more business versus residential development. Though there is a lot of residential development slated to go ahead, developers want more density and development for the same reason that government employees want higher salaries.
Except residential development is different from other kinds of business because it brings new residents who demand a welter of more expensive services. In particular, few residents are net contributors to the county budget while they have kids in school, as education takes up half of the county budget.
Our infrastructure is already strained. We need more business beyond residential development to bring in the revenue to pay for it. As a businessman, I think David Blair grasps that idea well and has emphasized business in his campaign. But his major outside funding and backers comes from the development industry.
Like many candidates, I’m grateful that the primary will be over tomorrow night. Not to flail a dead horse, but remember that we have a lot of good people running for office and respect the choices of our fellow citizens. Let’s also comfort and thank those who run but don’t win. Running for office isn’t easy and Montgomery is fortunate to have so many willing to put themselves out there.
By Adam Pagnucco.
The June campaign finance reports are in and they will be the last ones available prior to the primary. Today, we’ll look at the County Executive race. A note on methodology. First, we calculate total raised and total spent across the entire cycle and not just over the course of one report period. Second, we separate self-funding from funds raised from others. Self-funding includes money from spouses. Third, for publicly financed candidates, we include public matching fund distributions that have been requested but not deposited in raised money and in the column entitled “Cash Balance With Requested Public Contributions.” That gives you a better idea of the true financial position of publicly financed campaigns.
Below is our fundraising summary for the County Executive candidates. The numbers for Robin Ficker presume he has qualified for public matching funds but we have not heard definitively whether he has.
It’s official: David Blair has broken Steve Silverman’s 2006 spending record of $2 million in an Executive race. (Sorry Steve but you knew it wouldn’t last forever!) Blair’s $3 million in spending, mostly self-financed, exceeds the $2.1 million combined total so far reported by the other candidates.
Marc Elrich has excelled in public financing and has also had the good fortune to see the second-best financed candidate (Roger Berliner) going negative in TV and mail against the best-financed candidate (Blair). Combine that with the attack strategy of Progressive Maryland and Elrich can use his own money to promote himself and let others do the dirty work of bringing Blair down. It couldn’t get any better for Elrich.
Speaking of the attacks on Blair, the scale of them is becoming clear. Berliner has spent $51,048 on mail and $391,234 on TV, all of which had negative messaging about Blair. The Progressive Maryland Liberation Alliance PAC has so far raised $100,000, most of it in union money, to oppose Blair. The combined amount between the two – $542,282 – is likely the most money ever spent on attacking a candidate for County Executive and the race is not over. To our knowledge, none of the other Executive candidates has been targeted by negative TV commercials or negative mail.
The other three Democratic candidates – George Leventhal, Rose Krasnow and Bill Frick – are struggling to compete with limited resources. Leventhal has had money problems for the entire campaign but he is working his heart out. That plus his longevity and diverse base of supporters get him into the mix but he is still a long shot to win.
Rumors have swirled for weeks about labor polling and MCGEO President Gino Renne confirmed them to Bethesda Magazine on Friday. Renne said that Elrich and Blair were “neck and neck” in a number of polls and said, “When you combine all the different polls, it’s a good solid snapshot of what’s going on… I would say it’s statistically insignificant [between Elrich and Blair]. It’s all about who can get their voters to the polls. If the election were today, I’d have to call it a toss-up.”
We have written about Elrich’s base before: it’s a combination of anti-development activists, progressives and people living in and near Takoma Park. But Blair is developing a base too by consolidating those who want a different direction in county government. Frick and Krasnow have a similar message but they don’t have the money to make it stick like Blair does. And so this election is turning into a contest between different visions of change: a move towards greater progressivism or a move away from tax hikes and towards more economic development.
Who knows which side will win?
If I only have the biggest sign and wear cheetah shorts this time, that’ll do the trick!
h/t to Scott Goldberg for the video.
By Adam Pagnucco.
The May campaign finance reports are in and we will start breaking them down with the County Executive race. A note on methodology. First, we calculate total raised and total spent across the entire cycle and not just over the course of one report period. Second, we separate self-funding from funds raised from others. Self-funding includes money from spouses. Third, for publicly financed candidates, we include public matching fund distributions that have been requested but not deposited in raised money and in the column entitled “Cash Balance With Requested Public Contributions.” That gives you a better idea of the true financial position of publicly financed campaigns.
Below is our fundraising summary for the County Executive candidates.
Council Member Roger Berliner (whom your author supports) is the leader in money raised other than self-funding and also in cash on hand. He is closing in on a million dollars raised for the race, which was roughly Ike Leggett’s total in 2006. He has enough money to be heard in the final month.
Council Member Marc Elrich is the leader among the publicly financed candidates. His total raised of $745,352 is almost five times what he raised in his 2014 council race when public financing was not yet available. Elrich has a long history of vastly outperforming his fundraising because of his large and loyal base of supporters, some of whom have been with him for decades. With more than $400,000 to spend in the final month, he won’t blow anyone out, but he can combine that with a grass-roots field program to finish strong.
Businessman David Blair is going to break Steve Silverman’s fundraising record in 2006 with more than $2 million. The difference is that Silverman raised his money from the business community while Blair is mostly a self-funder. Blair’s self-financing of $1.9 million sends a message that he is deadly serious about winning. He is the strongest of the outsider candidates.
Council Member George Leventhal will get votes because of his longevity, name recognition and sheer hard work in the campaign cycle. (His brilliant Avengers-themed video could get some votes too!) But he doesn’t have enough resources to make a big push at the end.
Former Mayor of Rockville Rose Krasnow is a substantive and knowledgeable candidate who impresses those she meets. But she made two big mistakes in this campaign: getting in late and using public financing. Those mistakes reinforce each other. If she had gotten in early, she might have been able to raise enough in public financing to compete with the totals accumulated by Elrich and Leventhal. Since she did get in late, traditional financing offered a better option to raise money in a hurry. Now she is in the same situation as Leventhal and Bill Frick: struggling to make a final push.
Your author likes Delegate Bill Frick (D-16) a lot personally but he doesn’t have the resources to make his case. We wish Frick had stayed in the House of Delegates and plotted a course to succeed his former district mate, Brian Frosh, as Attorney General. The path not taken will be harder now.
Republican Robin Ficker has applied for public financing, but as of this writing, we don’t know whether he will receive it.
Overall, there are two competing narratives among those who are really focused on this race – admittedly, a minority of the voters. First, there is the view that the county should be more progressive. It should be bolder about closing the achievement gap, do more to help vulnerable residents (including renters), institute tougher environmental protections and push back against the influence of developers and big businesses. People with that perspective are mostly rallying behind Elrich, who is the overwhelming choice of progressive endorsing organizations.
Then there is the narrative advanced by your author’s writings on the county budget and the economy, the Washington Post’s endorsement editorials and the now-famous report by Sage Policy Group: to pay for progressive priorities, the county needs a stronger tax base. That message plays more to the outsider candidates, especially Blair, who put it in a recent mailer. But there’s no reason why Berliner and Leventhal shouldn’t embrace that perspective too.
It’s important to recognize that these views are not mutually exclusive. Not all progressives are skeptical of economic growth. And not all people who would like to see a stronger economy oppose spending the resulting revenue on progressive priorities. But the two messages contain differences in emphasis and differences in potential for attracting blocs of voters. Both of them represent change in some form, implying that running on resume and experience won’t be enough in this cycle – at least not in the Executive contest. Everyone needs to pick a path forward to win.
Next: the Council At-Large race.
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!
By Adam Pagnucco.
Update: Even though the deadline is May 12, the State Board of Elections said on March 30 that they will allow a candidate to file for matching funds as late as tomorrow (May 15) provided that all qualifying contributions were received by May 12. We will see if any of the above candidates file reports by tomorrow night.
Original Post: According to Montgomery County’s public campaign financing law, candidates have until 45 days before the primary election to qualify for public matching funds. Since the primary is on June 26, the qualifying period ended on Saturday, May 12. According to filings with the State Board of Elections, the following candidates did not qualify for matching funds by then and will not be receiving them.
Rosemary Arkoian – At-Large
Richard Banach – District 1
Craig Carozza-Caviness – At-Large
Bill Cook – District 1
Robin Ficker – County Executive
Lorna Phillips Forde – At-Large
Richard Gottfried – At-Large
Neil Greenberger – At-Large
Kevin Harris – District 5
Kenge Malikidogo-Fludd – District 5
Jim McGee – District 1
Melissa McKenna – At-Large
Darwin Romero – At-Large
In addition, Bethesda Magazine reported that these candidates were ruled ineligible for matching funds because their submissions to the State Board of Elections did not meet the thresholds of either in-county contributors or in-county money received to qualify.
Shruti Bhatnagar – At-Large
Loretta Garcia – At-Large
Paul Geller – At-Large
Michele Riley – At-Large
Tim Willard – At-Large
These eighteen candidates represent almost half of the thirty-eight active candidates in public financing. Starved of resources and unable to get their messages out, none of them will be elected.
By Adam Pagnucco.
Christmas morning is over and your blogger is done opening the presents – errrrr, campaign finance reports. Now we get to share them with you! And we will start by breaking down the Montgomery County Executive race.
Before we start playing with the toys, let’s clear away the wrapping and discuss a few data issues. Our numbers are different from what you will read in other outlets. That’s because Seventh State readers are special and we are going to give you only the best! First, we calculate total raised and total spent across the entire cycle and not just over the course of one report period. Many candidates, particularly in other races we will discuss, have been campaigning for more than a year and we want to capture that. Second, we separate self-funding from funds raised from others. Self-funding includes money from spouses. Total raised does not include in-kind contributions. Third, for self-financed candidates, we include public matching fund distributions that have been requested but not deposited in raised money and in cash on hand (which we call adjusted cash balance). That gives you a better idea of the true financial position of publicly financed campaigns.
And now, we reveal the numbers you all have been craving: the first round of fundraising reports for the seven people running for County Executive.
This is exactly the kind of race Council Member Marc Elrich wants. He is up against five other candidates, only one of whom has run countywide before, who are nothing like him and cannot steal votes from his progressive and anti-development base. Better yet, because of public financing, he has the resources to be financially competitive. (The thought of Elrich with money is almost as strange as the sight of Elrich wearing a suit and tie.) Elrich has been building a grass roots base for thirty years and he will be able to combine it with substantial labor, progressive and environmental support. This election is starting to turn into Elrich and a competition to become the non-Elrich alternative.
Council Member Roger Berliner has to feel good about his report. He leads the field in total raised for the cycle and cash on hand, and also has the lowest burn rate. Berliner can now start making the case to those who are not inclined to support Elrich that he is the most viable alternative to Elrich. Doing that is essential for his path to victory. (Disclosure: your author is a publicly-listed supporter of Berliner and has done work for him in the past.)
Businessman David Blair is sometimes compared to fellow businessman David Trone, but he is not using a Trone-like strategy. When Trone entered the CD8 race last year, he staffed up rapidly and began spending millions on television within weeks. Accordingly, some observers expected Blair to write himself a million dollar check, putting opponents on notice and perhaps intimidating one or two of them to withdraw. But while Trone plays to win, Blair looks like he’s playing around. He gave himself just enough money ($300,000) to equal the formerly penniless Elrich in cash on hand and trail Berliner. As for private sector fundraising, Berliner has raked in almost three times as much as Blair. Blair needs to sharpen his message, learn more about the county and show a hunger to win.
Council Member George Leventhal is plenty hungry. He might be the hardest-working candidate in the race and he clearly believes he’s the best person for the job. But Leventhal is killing his campaign with his sky-high burn rate (46%), which is more than double the burn rates of Elrich (19%) and Berliner (18%). Like Berliner, Leventhal needs to show to non-Elrich folks that he is the most viable alternative to Elrich. To do that, he needs to tighten up his spending and get some big endorsements – sooner rather than later.
Bill Frick, you know we love you. We admire your heroism on the liquor monopoly and we appreciate all the great fodder you have given us over the years. But you showed a cash balance of $150,753 – less than half what Berliner, Elrich and Blair reported. Why are you doing this, Bill? We want many more years of you in public office, so please take our advice: stay in the House and run to succeed Brian Frosh as Attorney General when the time comes. We will help you do it! We will even write dozens of blog posts just like this one.
Former Planning Department staffer and Rockville Mayor Rose Krasnow is an appealing, substantive and competent candidate with fans in both the business and smart growth communities. The fact that she is the only female candidate running against five men in a Democratic primary electorate that is almost 60% female is a big plus. Her numbers are not in yet, but she told Bethesda Magazine that she had raised $39,800 from small contributions in the public financing system. If that’s true, it means she is on pace to qualify for public matching funds much faster than either Elrich or Leventhal did. Still, we don’t understand why she entered public financing. It takes a long time to raise money that way and it prevents her from tapping into what could be substantial business support. Even if she qualifies for matching funds, she could very well trail all the other Democrats in fundraising except maybe Frick.
Republican Robin Ficker appears roughly halfway to qualifying for public matching funds. That means the county’s most infamous anti-tax activist could wind up campaigning on the public dole. And all of you MoCo residents will be paying for that!
Next up: the council at-large candidates.