Ficker Says He Would Replace Manger with Jae Hwang

Photo of Jae Hwang

Jae Hwang is running for sheriff. Robin Ficker says he would appoint him Montgomery County police chief.

Robin Ficker, the Republican who is seeking to be the next Montgomery County executive, said Monday night he would, if elected, fire Montgomery County Police Chief Tom Manger and replace him with Jae Hwang, the Republican who is running for sheriff.

“I like Jae Hwang,” Ficker said. “He’s a former JAG officer, he’s an attorney, he’s deputy commander of Germantown police station. He’s a wonderful alternative.”

Ficker made the announcement in front of more than 100 people at a debate of the three county executive candidates sponsored by the Sentinel, a Montgomery County weekly newspaper based in Rockville. Sentinel Editor Brian Karem moderated the event.

Ficker’s announcement came as Karem asked a broad question about the difficulties of minorities, which included the police shooting of an unarmed African-American man in June.

“We are going to not shoot any people that are unarmed. I can guarantee that,” Ficker said. Karem pressed Ficker on how he could say that. “I’m going to talk to police and make it very clear,” Ficker replied.

After the debate, Ficker’s opponents, Democrat Marc Elrich and independent Nancy Floreen, both praised Manger’s leadership.

“How can you not sit down with your people and ask them if you have concerns, say what your concerns, and come to an understanding? Robin’s got no understanding of how the police works,” Elrich said.

“I have heard nothing but praise for Tom Manger from every corner of the community, from every group that you would want to talk to,” Floreen said. “I haven’t talked to him, to Tom about his future yet, but I have the greatest respect for Tom.”

Karem touched on each of the candidate’s weaknesses. Elrich has a reputation as anti-business. Elrich said he wanted the county to focus on small, local businesses that would fill empty storefronts in shopping malls.

Karem asked Ficker what made him qualified to be county executive. Ficker discussed two charter changes he championed, the first required a unanimous vote to increase taxes and term limits.

Karem noted Floreen’s reputation for being in the pocket of developers. Floreen responded that she was part of efforts that passed strict rules on development and increased impact taxes.

All three expressed support for reversible lanes on I-270.

Political observer Susan Heltemes said she thought Ficker came off as bombastic, a stark contrast to the current county executive Ike Leggett.

She then discussed Gov. Larry Hogan’s appearance at an event for Leggett and his wife. Hogan was visibly moved talking about how Leggett reached out to him after the 2014 election.

“I worry if Marc were to be elected, he doesn’t have those connections. He doesn’t have the experience to work across the aisle,” Heltemes said.

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Douglas Tallman

About Douglas Tallman

Reporter with 35 years experience throughout Maryland. Reach me at or via Twitter at @MCM-Doug


One Response to “Ficker Says He Would Replace Manger with Jae Hwang”

  1. Avatar
    On September 26, 2018 at 5:23 pm responded with... #

    This is a flawed article. Robin Flicker never voted for property tax increases. He did introduce and get passed term limits. Flicker is socially liberal and fiscally conservative and will bring balance to a county that has basically shut out all moderate and conservative voices. Montgomery County isn’t just the domain of wealthy “progressives.” There are a lot of middle income people who are being taxed and voiced out of the County. Robin will add balance to the equation.

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