Ficker Sues Over Failing to Receive Public Election Funds

Republican executive candidate Robin Ficker has taken a county and a state official to court, claiming they have denied him public election funds he should have rightfully received.

The suit, filed Monday in Montgomery County Circuit Court, claims he was given bad information from a Maryland State Board of Elections official over the receipts for contributions necessary to qualify for the funds. As a result, the county official would not pay funds due to the campaign, he says.

The two officials — Jared DeMarinis, director of the Division of Candidacy and Campaign Finance for the Maryland State Board of Elections, and David Crow, fiscal projects manager of the Montgomery County Department of Finance — did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Ficker, a lawyer who lives in Boyds, filed for the county executive race in February 2017. He is the only Republican in the race and as such automatically appears in the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

He characterized the actions of the county and state through a political lens.

“People are saying that the winner of Democratic primary is tantamount to winning, but apparently the state and the county don’t’ think so or they wouldn’t be acting as they are,” Ficker said.

He said he had collected enough contributions to qualify for $230,000 from the public election fund.

Three of the six Democrats seeking the party’s county executive nomination — Councilmembers Marc Elrich and George Leventhal, and former Rockville mayor Rose Krasnow — have collected between $359,920 and $503,867, according to the May 31 report from the county’s Finance Department.

Nineteen county council candidates have received payouts from the fund. In total, the report says about $3.3 million has been paid out to candidates.

The Montgomery County Council passed the public election fund in 2014 and the 2018 elections are the first time the fund has been used by county executive and county council candidates.

Under the system, candidates agree to accept donations of no more than $150. In exchange, the candidates can qualify for taxpayer-supplied matching funds.

Ficker has asked for an expedited review, with a court decision by July 6.

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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


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