With just 10 days until the July 19 primary, the incumbent Montgomery County Council members running for re-election all have substantial bank accounts, and Evan Glass has reached the limit for receiving public campaign funds and spent the most money since early June, according to state and county records.
Glass, who is the council’s vice president, along with President Gabe Albornoz and Councilman Will Jawand, are all running for a second four-year term as members-at-large, representing the entire district. Two-term incumbent Council member Tom Hucker, who currently represents District 5 (Silver Spring, Takoma Park and eastern parts of the county) is running for the at-large seat this time.
Four candidates are also vying for four available seats in the Democratic primary. Those candidates are: Brandy Brooks, who ran unsuccessfully for the 2018 at-large seat; Dana Gassaway, a former biology teacher who ran unsuccessfully for the county school board; Scott Goldberg, member of the Democratic Central Committee; and Laurie-Anne Sayles, former Gaithersburg City Council member.
Campaign finance reports filed with the state by Friday night’s deadline show Hucker had the most in his bank account as of July 3, at $161,759. Jawando had the second largest war chest with $102,248 and Glass has $70,039. The reports covered the period from June 8 to July 3, except for the Albornoz and Sayles reports, which ran from June 21 to July 3.
Glass is the only at-large candidate who has reached the $250,000 limit on funds from the county’s public election fund, according to the county’s finance department. The district’s public campaign finance law allows individual donors to give up to $250 to a candidate, who then receives matching funds from the public fund. At-large applicants are limited to receiving a total of $250,000 in public funding.
Glass, Albornoz, Brooks, Goldberg and Sayles use the county’s campaign finance system while Hucker and Jawando do not. According to state records, Gassaway failed to file a campaign finance report with the state by the July 8 deadline, resulting in a $20 fine.
Albornoz received $209,954 in public campaign financing, while Brooks raised $189,613. Goldberg received $171,956 and Sayles $119,908.
[For more information on candidates for local, state and federal races, check out the Bethesda Beat voters guide.]
Glass and Goldberg also led the campaign spending effort from June 8 to July 3 – the end of the last state filing period – with Glass spending $117,584 and Goldberg $96,985. Glass spent more than half of his money on mailers, while Goldberg spent almost all of his money on ads and mailers.
Jawando spent $85,558 during that time, about half of it on mailings.
By comparison, Sayles spent $2,012.83 from June 21 to July 3. She and Brooks had the fewest amounts in their campaign bank accounts as of July 3 — Sayles with $6,695 and Brooks with $15,305. Sayles spent just under $800 on printing and campaign materials, while Brooks spent about $3,900 on campaign staff.
The primary election is July 19. Early voting lasts until July 14. Postal ballots will be accepted as long as they are marked by 8pm on July 19 or dropped into the ballot box by then.
Steve Bohnel can be reached at email@example.com