It was an unusually busy day at the Montgomery County Board of Elections as two people decided to file their paperwork to run for County offices on Tuesday.
Tuesday was the first day candidates could file their paperwork to run for any of the offices in the 2018 gubernatorial election. BOE Operations Manager Christine Rzeszut said it was an unusually busy filing day with two people deciding to file and total of five scheduled appointments to file.
“We’re going to have more of an active interest because we have open seats, especially in Montgomery County,” Rzeszut said.
Because of a newly passed term limits amendment to the County charter that now limits the members of the County Council and the County Executive to three consecutive terms, there will be four open seats on the Council in 2018 and an open County Executive seat.
On Tuesday, local political activist and attorney Robin Ficker, who announced he would run for County Executive weeks ago, filed his paperwork on Tuesday to officially kick off his race for County Executive.
Ficker, a Republican, was one of the lead advocates of the County’s term limits referendum which passed with 70 percent in favor on Election Day in November. Ficker said it is easier to run for an open seat rather than against an incumbent.
“The most difficult person to run against is an incumbent to run for any office and there is no incumbent (for County Executive in 2018),” Ficker said.
Joining Ficker as the only other candidate to file on Tuesday was Tom Ferleman, who filed to run for County Council, District 2 as a Republican. In 2014, County Executive Ike Leggett appointed Ferleman to serve on the UpCounty Citizen Advisory Board.
Ferleman said while he is running as a Republican, the issues he said facing the County are non-partisan, such as traffic and taxes.
“When people are struggling to make ends meet, the last thing you want to do is take money from them,” Ferleman said.
Candidates have until Feb 27, 2018 to file for the 2018 primary which will take place June 26, 2018. The Gubernatorial general election will take place Nov. 8, 2018.
This week, Total Wine and More co-founder David Trone said he is exploring the possibility to run for County Executive.
“Since April, a number of people have approached me and encouraged me to run for Montgomery County Executive. I am in the process of exploring that race now,” Trone said on his website.
Council members George Leventhal (D-at large), Nancy Floreen (D-at large), and Roger Berliner (D- 1) also said they are considering running for County Executive. Additionally, Neil Greenberger, the legislative information officer for the County Council said he is considering a run for an at large council seat.
Greenberger, who has worked as a County Council spokesperson for 10 years, said he will take the next three months to consider before he decides whether or not to run for County Council.
“Some people have asked me if I would be interested and I told them I would think about it,” Greenberger said.