Skip to main content
Election 2022

Elrich wins Montgomery County executive primary race by 32-vote margin

After a recount, incumbent Marc Elrich (D) won the democratic primary for Montgomery County executive by 32 votes. File photo by Danielle E. Gaines.

For the second Democratic primary in a row, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich (D) has eked out a win.

Elrich won this year’s contest by 32 votes over businessman David Blair, according to recount results certified by the Montgomery County Board of Elections on Wednesday afternoon.

The final tally in the contest shows that Elrich received 55,504 votes to Blair’s 55,472. Vote totals for the other candidates in the race — Councilmember Hans Riemer and Peter James — were not changed because they were not the focus of elections workers during the recount.

Blair, in a brief statement after the vote, said he’d called to concede to Elrich earlier in the day and “to wish him the best over the next four years.”

“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 said in a statement.

This is the second time Blair has narrowly lost to Elrich in the Democratic primary for the county’s top government job. In 2018, Elrich, who had spent three terms on the county council, won the contest by 77 votes.

Blair, who spent millions of dollars of his own money on the two races, requested a recount then as he did in 2022.

During a four-day recounting process at the Germantown Community Center, the county board of elections reviewed more than 150 challenges to votes. Ultimately, the review of more than 140,000 ballots yielded a small number of changes: Blair added 10 votes to his tally, while Elrich added seven.

Kevin Karpinski, the attorney for the election board, explained how the vote total could go up before the board’s vote on Wednesday.

The most common reason a candidate might gain a vote is that a voter may have darkened more than one oval on their ballot. When scanned by a machine, that ballot would have been classified as an “overvote” and not counted for that race. But when reviewed by the board, other markings could make the voter’s intent clear. For instance, two ovals may have been filled in, but one might have an X through it.

Scanned ballots originally classified as an “undervote” or no vote at all might also have gone to a particular candidate after review if the voter’s ballot mark was too faint for the scanner or outside the designated oval.

Up to 100 elections workers from local governments across the state came to Germantown to conduct the recount between Friday and Monday.

Members of the elections board thanked the recount workers once again during their brief meeting Wednesday afternoon.

“I’m gratified to see the integrity of the process that we just undertook. So thank you to staff, all the participants, my board members, colleagues, everyone for an incredible job,” board member Diane Nash Dillon said.

Elrich will face Republican Reardon Sullivan, the former chair of the county GOP, in November, and will be the heavy favorite.


Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our website. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

If you have any questions, please email editor Danielle Gaines at [email protected]

To republish, copy the following text and paste it into your HTML editor.


Creative Commons License AttributionCreative Commons Attribution
Elrich wins Montgomery County executive primary race by 32-vote margin