This story was updated at 11:15 p.m. Nov. 8, 2022, to include comments from Reardon Sullivan.

County Executive Marc Elrich was on his way to winning a second term Tuesday night, holding a commanding lead over Republican challenger Reardon Sullivan.

Elrich was leading Sullivan by roughly 50 points as early unofficial results were posted by the Maryland State Board of Elections at around 10 p.m. Elrich declared victory in a gathering at McGinty’s Public House at Silver Spring at that time.

In his victory speech, he thanked his family and supporters for backing him during his political career.

“I’ve always been an elected official, but first and foremost, I’m an activist,” Elrich said, adding it has been his goal as a politician to change the world for the better.

Sullivan, however, did not immediately concede–and although he admitted he had considerable ground to make up, he appreciated his supporters from both sides of the political aisle.


“Every time I went to the polls, we have a lot of positive feedback. A lot of people who are going to say, ‘Hey, I might be a Democrat, but I’m going to vote across party lines.’ And I think that’s really a great thing,” Sullivan said Tuesday night. “So that’s the turnout, and how many people were convinced to cross the line? That’s what is the question of the hour, the question of the race. But I think our supporters have done a fabulous job.”

The county executive campaigned on furthering what he considered the accomplishments of his first term, particularly regarding police reform, economic development and housing. He said in interviews and during new briefings and events that he would try to broadcast his accomplishments more in the coming term.

Sullivan, however, criticized Elrich’s record on public safety and economic development, saying that the increasing crime rate was making communities countywide less safe, and that the county’s poor business reputation was driving potential employers to neighboring jurisdictions.


The outcome on Tuesday was a less dramatic affair than the July Democratic primary when county residents had to wait weeks until an initial count of tens of thousands of mail-in ballots led to a 35-vote victory over businessman David Blair. Blair then requested a recount of more than 140,000 ballots and Elrich prevailed — his final margin of victory was 32 votes.

Because Maryland’s courts allowed mail-in ballots to be counted before Election Day — unlike in the primary, in which mail-in ballots could not be counted until two days afterward — the processing of ballots was already underway, allowing for more unofficial results to be posted Tuesday night. 

Elrich’s expected victory on Tuesday against Sullivan was a less contested affair than his win in 2018, when he bested perennial candidate Robin Ficker, a Republican, and Nancy Floreen, a former County Council member who switched her party affiliation from Democrat to unaffiliated, in order to run against Elrich in the general election. Elrich finished that race with just under 65% of the vote. 


This election, Elrich had received 104,699 votes, or about 74.5%, as of unofficial results posted on Tuesday at around 10 p.m. 

Bethesda Beat staff writer Apps Bichu contributed to this report.