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Election 2022

Blair, trailing by 42 votes, will request recount in Montgomery County executive race

David Blair will request a recount in the race for Montgomery County executive. Photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

Businessman David Blair will request a recount in the race for Montgomery County executive, after a final round of ballot counting showed him down 42 votes to incumbent Marc Elrich.

On Sunday morning, there were 34 votes left to be tabulated. On Sunday afternoon, 9 additional ballot results were reported to the state — four additional votes each for Blair and Elrich. The remaining 25 ballots were rejected as untimely by the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

With all ballots reported to the state, Elrich won the race with 39.20% of the vote, compared to 39.17% for Blair.

The razor-thin margin means a recount of more than 110,000 ballots would be done at no cost to either candidate.

“Given the extremely close margin, we will be requesting a full recount and are hopeful that the outcome will be in our favor,” Blair said in a statement.

On Saturday, elections officials reported the results of provisional ballots, a canvass that dramatically narrowed the already-close gap between the candidates.

Elrich tweeted Saturday night about his apparent victory.

“I am honored to be the Democratic nominee for County Executive. I want to thank the voters,” Elrich said in a statement. “I love this county and care about our residents so very deeply. This primary has been a long journey.”

The 2022 race is a repeat of the 2018 primary, when Elrich also squeaked out a win over Blair. In that race, Elrich led by 79 votes after ballots were counted, and clinched the win by 77 votes after a recount.

Results in the race this year have been delayed after Gov. Larry Hogan (R) vetoed a bill that would have allowed county elections officials to begin tabulating an unusually high number of mail ballots before election day.

Editor’s Note: This story was updated with additional details on Sunday at 8 p.m.