Thursday, August 26, 2010

Council At-Large: Nancy Floreen

Council Member Nancy Floreen finished fourth in the 2006 at-large Democratic primary. What does that mean this year?

First, some basic statistics on Floreen along with her performance chart in 2006.

Electoral Experience
Two-term at-large incumbent. Finished third in 2002 as a member of the End Gridlock slate. Finished fourth in 2006. Former Mayor of Garrett Park.

Areas of Strength, 2006
Finished first in Montgomery Village, Poolesville and Garrett Park. Finished second in Council District 2, State Legislative Districts 14, 17 and 39, and in Gaithersburg, Germantown, Damascus, Clarksburg, Sandy Spring and Laytonsville.

Areas of Weakness, 2006
Finished fourth in Council Districts 4 and 5, State Legislative Districts 18, 19 and 20 and in Silver Spring, Potomac, Chevy Chase, Derwood, Kensington, Takoma Park and Brookeville.

In 2006, Floreen had overwhelming support from the business community plus a couple unions and the Post, but not the Apple Ballot. The story is the same this year.

Campaign Receipts
$347,369 for the 2006 cycle, best in the at-large field. In the 2006 cycle through the Pre-Primary 1 report in 2006, Floreen raised $281,656. In the 2010 cycle through the Pre-Primary 1 report in 2010, Floreen has raised $225,983, a 20% decrease from the prior cycle. Floreen is a good fundraiser, primarily because of her popularity in the business community.

What is Different Now
Not much. Nancy Floreen is the same candidate with the same positions and pretty much the same kind of campaign and endorsement mix as in 2006. If there was a powerful anti-incumbent sentiment, Floreen might be targeted by angry voters as the current Council President, but our door-knocking spies do not report a wave of this kind. Challenger Becky Wagner could steal some votes from Floreen, but Floreen could also benefit from Duchy Trachtenberg’s problems.


There is little reason to believe Floreen’s performance will be substantially different from last time. Sure, we have heard theories of her vulnerability including Trachtenberg’s money, Hans Riemer’s endorsements and even a backlash about her Council Presidency. (Trust us – rank-and-file Democratic voters don’t care how she became President.) But the bottom line is that Nancy Floreen is a survivor and nobody has made a lot of money betting against her.

We are picking Floreen to finish fourth, with a small chance of finishing fifth if Hans Riemer does very well and Duchy Trachtenberg gets lucky.

Tomorrow, we’ll look at the top two challengers: Becky Wagner and Hans Riemer.