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Incumbent Marc Elrich Wins Democratic Primary For Montgomery County Executive

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich speaks at a Bisnow event May 3.

After a ballot recount that took nearly a week, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich has secured his party's nomination to pursue another term.

Elrich beat his top challenger, David Blair, by 32 votes in the Democratic Party's primary, Bethesda Magazine reported Wednesday. The recount follows the July 19 primary, which initially gave Elrich a 35-vote lead. The final tally gave Elrich 55,504 votes to Blair's 55,472 votes.

Elrich will face Republican Party nominee Reardon Sullivan in the general election Nov. 8. The incumbent is heavily favored to win, given registered Democrats outnumber Republicans in Montgomery County 4 to 1, according to Bethesda Magazine.

He will run on Maryland's Democratic ticket along with gubernatorial nominee Wes Moore, an author and former nonprofit executive who is facing Republican nominee Dan Cox in the race to replace Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan.

In a statement released Wednesday afternoon, Elrich thanked election officials for working on the recount and Democratic voters for nominating him again.

"I am honored by your trust and am ready to get to work to elect Wes Moore and the entire Democratic ticket in November and ensure that Democrats win up and down the ballot throughout Montgomery County," Elrich said. "I am looking forward to continuing our work to make Montgomery County as vibrant, successful and equitable as possible."  

Blair had run on a pro-development platform, receiving support from prominent suburban Maryland developers like Washington Property Co. founder and President Charlie Nulsen through political action committees.

Blair called Elrich and conceded the election, he told supporters in a Wednesday email.

"While we didn’t win, no doubt we pushed the conversation forward in key areas such as early childhood education, career readiness, environmental progress, affordable housing, economic development, public safety and much, much more," Blair's email said. 

Blair has criticized Elrich for his approach to supporting urban nodes like Silver Spring, where retail vacancy remains uncomfortably high.

Elrich has acknowledged the criticism he's received from the business community in recent months and has said he is working to improve the county's reputation. At a Bisnow life sciences event in May, he said that Montgomery County punched below its weight, and he said he would work to attract more business by streamlining zoning processes.

“Montgomery County has, admittedly, a really bad reputation for handling development," Elrich said at the event. We are working overtime to change that."