• CLPA Staff

Election 2022: County Executive Candidate Profiles (Montgomery County)

Updated: May 9







Campaigns for the 2022 Election have officially begun!


Over the coming months, CLPA will profile candidates in the DC Metro area running for office, as well as their platforms. The candidates profiled today have filed the necessary paperwork with the Board of Elections to run for County Executive of Montgomery County, Maryland. The County Executive is the highest elected office in Montgomery County, and aside from enforcing the laws of the County, they are also responsible for providing direction to the various departments of the County government. Their responsibilities include proposing plans, programs, County budgets, and even legislation to the County Council. The County Executive also issues Executive Orders, regulations, and appoints residents to boards, committees, and commissions.


The current County Executive is Marc Elrich, who is in his first term. County Executive Elrich has three Democratic challengers for his office. There are no Republican challengers as of today, but of course, that could change as the weeks progress.


The three challengers for County Executive are:

1. County Council President and District 5 County Councilmember Tom Hucker

2. At-Large County Councilmember Hans Riemer

3. Entrepreneur and philanthropist David Blair


The information below comes directly from the candidate’s website and has been summarized, so the central message of each candidate’s platform is front and center. Do not forget to click on hyperlinks in the platform summary, as they will take you to a more detailed explanation of their proposals. Please refer to the candidate’s website or contact the candidate directly if more information is needed.


Declared candidates



Name: Marc Elrich

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: Current County Executive of Montgomery County

Website: https://www.marcelrich.org/

Campaign Platform and Accomplishments:

  • Managing the Pandemic

o Supported the Governor in his early decision to close businesses and activities and criticized his later reversals.

o Decided that we would follow strict masking guidelines, shut down many activities, get testing out as far and wide as possible, and communicate the need for all those measures.

o Formed hubs that delivered food, fresh produce, and essentials like diapers and formula

o Distributed $35 million in rental relief to more than 6,000 households.

  • Racial Equity and Social Justice

o Began training the county government in how to apply a racial equity lens – to evaluate impacts and be transparent in documenting whether, using well-researched metrics, our policies are matching our words.

o Established and appointed the first-ever Chief Equity Officer and provided her with staff to advance this important work.

o Provided rental support, emergency housing, food assistance, and legal aid.

o Placed vaccination clinics all around the county and taking vaccines to populations that don’t have the time or resources to come to us

o Vetoed legislation that created a Business Improvement District (BID) in Silver Spring that would impose mandatory taxes and be controlled by the wealthiest property owners, most of whom are White

  • Preserve and Create Affordable Housing

o Preserve existing affordable units, particularly in areas near transit, like along the route of the Purple Line.

o Successfully negotiated agreement at the Halpine View Apartments in the Twinbrook neighborhood of Rockville. This agreement with the property owners requires that, for any new redevelopment of the property, existing residents will have access to the new units at affordable rates and that all 564 existing affordable units at Halpine View will continue to be available and include two- and three-bedroom units.

o Produce more affordable housing. Six acres are being redeveloped on a county-owned site to produce almost 200 housing units. The vast majority will be larger than one 1-bedroom to accommodate families. 98% of the units will be for households earning less than 60% of AMI. The other 2% is for households under 70% AMI. The project will include ownership opportunities, including 24 units for households earning under 50% of AMI.

o Create a new Housing Opportunity Fund, which will provide access to fast, flexible funding to respond to unplanned opportunities; this is short-term gap funding that gives them time to put long-term financing in place. The fund is being created with private partners –Community Development Financial Institutions – to leverage even more funding.

o Joined with elected leaders and organizations around the state, asking the Governor to extend the pandemic moratorium on evictions for another 90 to 120 days to give renters time to get back on their feet

o Support extending the current limitation on rent increases imposed during the pandemic.

o Vetoed the Council’s legislation (Bill 29-20) that allows some developers who use WMATA owned land to pay zero property taxes even though neighboring property owners had to pay the same tax and even though these giveaways would not produce any additional affordable units beyond the minimum that we normally get

  • Early Childhood and K-12 Education

o Increased funding to extend early childhood education to about 1,500 infants, toddlers, and preschoolers and expanded eligibility for families.

o Provided $1.2 million in supplemental child care payments for essential employees, $10 million COVID relief grants to 441 child care programs, and $7.4 million in grants for school-age programs and tuition subsidies for school-age care.

o Fully funded the budget for the Montgomery Public School System in each County budget

  • Addressing Climate Change

o Sent two major items to the County Council that could result in significantly reduced emissions from existing and new buildings

o Converting County-owned vehicles to clean energy use

o Bringing solar to low-income communities.

o Support for Community Choice Energy (CCE).

o Began implementing a program for commercial composting and are researching improvements to recycling processes.

o Sent legislation to the County Council to ban the use of plastic straws and will soon send legislation to the Council to ban the use of gas leaf blowers,

  • Efficient Transportation

o Launched the faster Flash Bus service on Route 29 in the East County

o Instituted the first phase of Ride On Flex, a new, on-demand transit service in areas of Rockville and Glenmont/Wheaton

o Continues to try to work with the Governor and the Maryland Department of Transportation to revise their plan for the I-495 and I-270 corridor

  • Higher Education

o Recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the County, the University of Maryland System (including the Universities at Shady Grove), and Montgomery College to form the Montgomery/Maryland Life Science Education and Innovation Partnership

o Initiated the process to bring a Montgomery College presence to East County.

  • Putting Our Fiscal House in Order

o For the first time in almost 30 years, the growth in our tax base yielded increased revenues because of a change in the county charter

o Proposed and the Council and county residents supported – via Charter amendment A on the ballot in November – changing the way revenues are calculated.

  • Business and Economic Development

o Created the Business Advancement Team to be a resource for businesses in the County

o Created a preference for local, county businesses in the procurement process

o Increased transparency and clarity in the procurement process so that businesses can better und

o Recently issued a request for proposals on some county-owned land to help stimulate commercial development in the Burtonsville area and to reactivate a nearly abandoned shopping center in the heart of the community

o Leveraging assets as we work aggressively to locate more companies here - companies that strengthen our life sciences and tech clusters and provide a good return on our investment.

  • Reforming Our Approach to Public Safety

o Working with our police union and our Police Chief to develop a new policy requiring officers to intervene if they witness misconduct,

o May of 2020, I asked the County Council to approve the first civilian Assistant Police Chief position to oversee the Community Resources Bureau within the Police Department

o Convened a Task Force consisting of more than 40 residents, representatives of 14 county departments, four labor unions, and six municipalities and county offices to discuss institutional racism in public safety and explore reforms in policies and programs that affect communities served by the police. The Task Force delivered a report with several recommendations the County is now examining.

o Worked out an agreement with the Montgomery County Public School system to remove “School Resource Officers” (SROs) from the schools while still providing adequate safety to our schools

  • Efficient, Effective, and Transparent Government

o Department of Procurement has received four national awards in the last two years, including one for developing a web-based tool to facilitate internal compliance with purchasing policies and another for a public-facing website providing full transparency to the County's bidding and procurement process at every stage.

o Department of Technology and Enterprise Business Solutions (TEBS) won a NACo award for adapting Senior Planet Montgomery to an online edition

Name: Tom Hucker

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: County Council President and District 5 Montgomery County Councilmember Maryland

Website: https://tomhucker.com/

Campaign Platform and Accomplishments:

  • Protected Our Environment

o Successfully passed bills to expand our parks, protect our drinking water, increase recycling, and expand solar energy

  • Strengthened Our Schools

o In his first Council term, successfully fought to reduce the achievement gap, invest in high-quality pre-k and reduce class sizes. He voted to establish new after-school and full-day Head Start programs in our elementary schools, so every child has a chance to succeed

  • Expanded Paid Leave

o Helped lead the fight to guarantee paid sick leave for all workers in Montgomery County. He later expanded that law so that new parents, including adoptive and same-sex couples, could use paid leave for their families.

  • Raised the Minimum Wage

o Voted to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour will go a long way towards helping hardworking Marylanders pay their rent and bills while buying food for their families.

  • Fought for Transit Funding

o Successfully expanded Ride-On Express on US-29 starting May 2018, proposed and got funding for BRT on New Hampshire, and has helped champion the Coalition to Fix MD 198 and funding for the long-delayed Burtonsville Access Road.

  • Tackled Neighborhood Needs

o Helped secure funding for desperately needed repaving and expanded access to safe pedestrian routes. In addition, Tom successfully passed a bill to hold banks and negligent homeowners financially accountable for foreclosed and blighted properties, helping neighbors get a much-needed tool to address these dangerous and dilapidated properties.

  • Defended People’s Rights

o Successfully stopped attempts to suppress votes in East County and stood up to developers to protect urban agriculture like Koiner Farm.

o Worked with organizations like CASA de Maryland and Montgomery Housing Partnership to support renters and immigrant families who had been affected by the tragic Flower Branch apartment explosion in Long Branch.

  • Supported Public Safety

o Helped secure resources for paramedics and firefighters in District 5 and championed the expanded use of body cameras. A leader against human trafficking, Tom passed legislation enabling police to have the tools they need to target traffickers and facilitated joint hearings on additional resources required to fight this rising issue in Montgomery County.


Name: Hans Riemer

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: At-Large Montgomery County Councilmember

Website: www.hansriemer.com

Campaign Platform and Accomplishments:

o Support abundant housing for the workforce

o Expand transportation for reliable commerce and commutes

o Boost talent pipelines for growth and equity

o Create the Purple Line Innovation Corridor

o Build on our Federal powerhouses, the NIH, NIST, FDA, NOAA

o Provide extra care for small businesses

o Provide MCPS educators with the resources they need to succeed

o Fund high-intensity tutoring

o Launch new middle and high school career pathway programs

o Ensure that kids with learning disabilities are always a priority

o Provide universal and affordable after school and summer programs for every child;

o Provide universal child care and pre-k

o Fund “safe walk to school” programs

o Purchase more school buses

o Enhance Montgomery College programs

o Secure more state investment in Universities at Shady Grove

o Champion 40,000 new housing units by 2030

o Allow duplexes more widely in the County, especially near transit

o Create $100 million Purple Line Housing fund

o Create a $100 million Social Housing fund

o Ensure non-profit housing providers get adequate support

o Help homeowners build accessory dwelling units

o Support tenant rights through effective code inspection,

o Increase pathways to homeownership

o Make bigger changes to our permit and development process,

o Follow through on policy recommendations in Thrive Montgomery 2050

o Support a 100% clean energy power grid

o Allow rural property owners and farmers to install solar arrays

o Add charging stations everywhere

o Require new buildings and dwellings to reach net-zero energy by 2035;

o Implement responsible but aggressive building energy performance (BEPS) legislation

o Replace all County vehicles and buses with electric

o Create a composting facility

o Expand public transportation

o Build more walkable and bikeable communities

o Support smart growth density near transit

o Get the Purple Line done right!

o Build transit for the UpCounty

o Build transit for the East County

o Support plans to expand the American Legion Bridge

o Devote future 270 toll revenue to transit alternatives

o Make walking safer

o Build protected bike lane networks

o Push the state to make MARC a real commuter rail system

o Plan BRT to Tysons

o Start moving on extending the Red Line

o Expand free bus service and maintain free bus service

o Champion 40,000 new housing units by 2030

o Allow duplexes more widely in the County, especially near transit;

o Create a $100 million Purple Line Housing fund

o Create a $100 million Social Housing fund

o Ensure non-profit housing providers get adequate support

o Help homeowners build accessory dwelling units

o Support tenant rights through effective code inspection

o Increase pathways to homeownership

o Make bigger changes to our permit and development process to build housing more quickly and affordably

o Follow through on policy recommendations

o Fund investigatory police work to prevent and solve serious crimes

o Make police salaries competitive

o Build a culture at the department that embraces accountability and reform

o Invest in prevention.

o Integrate mental health concerns into 9-1-1 response

o Improved and open data practices:

o Civilian participation

o School safety

o Stop biased pretextual traffic stops

o Fix the bargaining breakdown

o Accountability at every level

o Local, diverse recruiting and modern training

o Treatment, not criminalization, of mental illness

o Refocus on preventing and solving crime

o Fix the bargaining process

o Transparency

o Improved, expanded, and open data practices

o Civilian participation

o School safety

o Transform 911

o Stop biased pretextual traffic stops


Name: David Blair

Political Affiliation: Democrat

Occupation: Entrepreneur and philanthropist.

Website: https://www.blairformontgomery.com/

Platform:

o Establishing a Montgomery County Business Bill of Rights

o Building a Strong Montgomery County Brand

o Growing Our Life Sciences Businesses

o Becoming the Hospitality Start-Up Capital of the World

o Harnessing Our Entrepreneurial Spirit

o Revitalizing Silver Spring and the Georgia Avenue Corridor

o Accelerating Our Agricultural Reserve Economic Engine

o An Inclusive Economy

o A Safe Community

o An Inclusive Public School System

o Access to Affordable Housing

o Access to Affordable Health Care

o A Unified Community

o Lead the Region in Solar Energy Production

o Restore Vital Tree Canopy

o Countywide Composting

o Climate Resiliency

o Building Sustainability into Transportation

o Establish a “90-Day Report Card” on climate

  • Education

o Universal Pre-K

o Ensuring 100% of MCPS high school graduates are college or career ready

  • Empowering Nonprofits

o Engage the talent and experience in this sector to deliver services to those in need efficiently.

  • Community Investment

o Exam the merits of housing co-ops to increase affordable housing

o Set new housing permitting goals aligned with population growth

o incentivize development around Metro stations

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