Seats representing County Council Districts 5, 6, and 7 will all be occupied by new members by December — and the latest campaign finance reports show District 5 candidate Jeremiah Pope, District 6 candidate Natali Fani-Gonzalez, and Jacqueline Manger, who’s running in District 7, as leading in spending for their respective races in the closing days of the Democratic primary campaign.

In the District 5 race, Pope, a political fundraiser, is joined by seven other candidates running for the seat to represent an area including the Four Corners, White Oak, Colesville, Burtonsville and other eastern areas of the county. The seven candidates are: 

  • Brian Anleu, chief of staff to the Montgomery County Planning Board
  • Fatmata Barrie, a community activist and immigration lawyer
  • Christopher Bolton, a local nonprofit leader
  • Daniel Koroma, a community organizer and business liaison officer for the county government
  • Cary Lamari, a political activist and electrical contractor
  • Kristin Mink, a political activist and former Montgomery County Public Schools teacher
  • William ‘Chip’ Montier, a paralegal for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and a business analyst

[For more information on candidates for local, state and federal races, check out the Bethesda Beat voters guide.]

According to Pope’s latest campaign finance report filed with the State Board of Elections by the Friday night deadline, Pope has outspent his competitors, dropping $54,046 during the reporting period covering June 8 through July 3. More than $37,000 paid for mailers to households. He currently has $59,135 in his campaign bank account, according to his filing. 

The only District 5 candidate who has more in the bank is Mink, who reported having $75,089 on hand from June 21 to July 3, according to her latest filing. She’s also received $125,000 in public campaign finance funds, the maximum amount allowed under county law, according to the county’s latest report. 

Mink spent $36,173 between June 21 and July 3, second among all candidates. Just under $30,000 was spent on campaign mailers, her report shows.

Barrie, Koroma and Anleu follow Mink in spending, although their latest reports cover the June 8 through July 3 reporting period. Barrie spent $20,437, with over $12,000 going to printing and campaign material costs. Koroma spent $14,348, with more than $13,000 paying for printing and campaign materials, and Anleu dropped $12,722, with almost all of the money paying for mailers. 

District 6, which includes Wheaton, Forest Glen, Glenmont, and Aspen Hill, also has eight candidates running. Council Member Nancy Navarro — who currently would represent this new district — is term-limited and cannot run again.

The candidates running in District 6 are:

  • Natali Fani-Gonzalez, a former Planning Board member
  • Omar Lazo, a community organizer and small business owner 
  • Maricé Morales, a former state delegate
  • Brit Siman-Tov, mother of three
  • Steve Solomon, a local radio personality and podcaster
  • Christa Tichy, an electrician 
  • Mark Trullinger, occupation unknown 
  • Vicki Vergagni, a small business owner and condo association leader 

Fani-Gonzalez has spent the most in this race in recent weeks, dropping $20,922 from June 21 to July 3, according to her latest campaign finance report. Over $18,000 of that has gone to mailers. She’s also received $94,321 in public campaign finance funds, according to the county’s latest report.

Morales is the only one that Fani-Gonzalez has topped in receipt of public campaign financing, as she has received $70,924. The former state delegate spent $10,167 from June 21 to July 3, with around half paying for advertisements and household mailers, according to her latest filing.

Morales currently has $60,443 in the bank, while Fani-Gonzalez has $57,997, according to their reports. Lazo has $27,133 in his war chest, according to his latest report — which covers June 8 to July 3. He’s spent $10,993, with $6,500 paying for a campaign consultant.

District 7 features seven Democratic candidates vying to represent an area covering the northeastern part of the county, including Derwood, Olney, Brookeville, Laytonsville, Montgomery Village and Damascus.

Those candidates are: 

  • Andrew Einsmann, a real estate agent
  • Paul Geller, a former PTA leader
  • Sharif Hidayat, a retired county police officer
  • Dawn Luedtke, an assistant attorney general for the state
  • Jacqueline Manger, a senior official with the University of Maryland’s business school
  • Paul Schwartz, a former local columnist and Federal Emergency Management Agency employee
  • Ben Wikner, a pastor and community organizer

Manger, Einsmann and Luedtke are the top spenders, according to their latest campaign finance reports, which cover June 8 to July 3. Manger has spent the most, at $16,755, with more than $12,000 paying for printing, campaign materials and campaign staff. Einsmann, who paid a $20 fine for filing a day after the July 8 deadline, spent $14,633 in total, with more than $14,500 sunk into mailers.

Luedtke spent $6,590, with about $6,500 paying for mailers. She has the largest campaign bank account of any District 7 candidate, at $40,799. Manger has $29,759 and Einsmann reported a total of $16,390, according to the latest reports.

Primary Election Day is July 19. Early voting runs through July 14. Any mail-in ballot postmarked by 8 p.m. on Election Day or dropped into a ballot drop box countywide will be counted, as long as it is filled out correctly. 

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com 

Steve Bohnel

Steve Bohnel can be reached at steve.bohnel@bethesdamagazine.com