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Ficker Changes Primary Residence To Run in MoCo's District 4

Low-tax activist Robin Ficker is hoping to take his message directly to the Montgomery County Council.

Ficker, a former state legislator and champion of anti-tax ballot measures, has filed his candidacy for the District 4 special election. To run for the seat, Ficker said he has changed his primary residence from a Boyds farm - located in District 2 - to a home his parents bought in Fairland in 1969.

Candidates must only live within the district's borders as of the day of the general election, which is May 19, and Ficker said he has lived in that house "on and off" for years.

He will be joined in the Republican primary by newcomer Lou August of Silver Spring, who is director of partnerships for the non-profit Save the Children.

On the Democratic side, civic activist Cary Lamari, a former president of the Montgomery County Civic Federation, joins state Del. Benjamin F. Kramer, School Board President Nancy Navarro (see on-line announcement here) and former local Red Cross executive director Chris Paladino to make it a four-way primary in the race to fill the vacancy left by the death last month of Don Praisner.

Lamari has a long history of working on affordable housing and traffic issues in the eastern part of the county. He was briefly a candidate in last year's special election, but stepped down to get behind Don Praisner.

By Ann Marimow  |  February 24, 2009; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Ann Marimow , Montgomery County  
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Hermann and Olive Ficker were friends of mine for many years. If their son, Robin, is anything like them, he will make a great member of the council. I voted for his ballot question, which passed, to keep our property taxes down. In this economy, he did us a great favor. He is a hero to homeowners.

Posted by: barbaraj1 | February 24, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

With passage of the Ficker amendment on property tax relief last November, one vote can make a difference because one vote can stop property tax increases. Vote for Ficker as a home insurance policy!

Posted by: jason14 | February 24, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

The buzz around this election extends beyond District 4 as voters county-wide are hoping Ficker's momentum from the ballot initiative will continue through his swearing in to the Council!

Posted by: marieinsilverspring | February 25, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Robin Ficker is extremely knowledgeable about the issues confronting Montgomery County and its residents. He's always been fiery independant. His populist message will clearly have bipartisan appeal. As a defense attorney, he's always championed the little guy.

If you add up the number of years Robin and I have lived in the county, it comes to 107 years of experience!!! Over a century.

The only reason I'm not running, is I moved out of the district last August & not eligible. However, I'll be campaigning for Robin 100%.

Mark D. Fennel
Republican Nominee in the 2008 Special Election for District 4

Posted by: mfennel1 | February 25, 2009 10:57 AM | Report abuse

Whether you love him or hate him, Ficker is probably the most knowledgeable person in the county about the county. Having his voice heard in the Council would be extremely valuable. A little bit of dissent and debate should make our county leaders think harder about their decisions.

Posted by: Wallenstein | February 25, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Good luck Ficker, but I wonder is anyone else wondering if he can properly represent a district if he does NOT really live there? He's only going to "live" there for election day. Seems kind of opportunistic. Still, that is not to say that whoever is running against Ficker is not also opportunistic. However, if they actually live in that district, it may be seen as an advantage in representing it.

Apologies for the logic injection.

Posted by: free-donny | February 25, 2009 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I find this sudden outpouring of Ficker support on the comments section intriguing.

Plus Ficker shows his true colors by exploiting this loophole in residency requirements just to get his name on the ballot.

Posted by: tfp_wnc | February 25, 2009 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Can you spell "carpetbagger?" Robin should remain home in Boyds and continue to needle Mike Knapp. He was all over the special election in District 4 last year, and overstayed his welcome.

I also find all the positive comments about him quite suspicious.

Posted by: mococivic | February 25, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

Yo, Robin -- seriously, dude, you make every blog that covers Montgomery County BORING with all your phony posts. Can you please give it a rest and let real people express their opinions?

Posted by: gllspl | February 25, 2009 7:31 PM | Report abuse

Go Robin!

Posted by: afpre42 | February 25, 2009 10:55 PM | Report abuse

Note that the few negative posts about Robin Ficker don't discuss the issues.

Robin Ficker was born in Montgomery County and graduated in Montgomery Blair High. He won an appointment the United States Military Academy after being nominated by Congressman John Foley, a Democrat from Montgomery County. He was King of the Pits in hand-to-hand combat there, held some school records in track and field at West Point, and was on the Dean's list. He received a B.S. in Engineering (electrical and mechanical) from Case Instituite of Technology, so he must have been pretty good at math. He went to an Ivy League Law School, the University of Pennsylvania. Then he simultaneously received a J.D. from the University of Baltimore School and a M.A. in Public Administration from American University.
Robin received an Honorable Discharge from the U.S. Army. He was the first Legal Counsel at the National Caucus on the Black Aged.
His first lawsuit went to the U.S. Supreme Court to try and end the television blackout of pro football games. Pete Rozelle, the NFL Commissioner, said the television blackouts of sold-out NFL games would never have ended without Ficker's lawsuit. His second legal action, resulted in a Federal Court settlement with the Montgomery County Attorney, ending ratings by the County government of female job applicants as to physique and facial features and ending questions about marital status and child care arrangements. Another lawsuit resulted in a Federal ruling that any amendment to the mass transit general plan of Metro had to conform to the National Environmental Policy Act.

Robin was elected to the Maryland legislature, the only Republican candidate on the ballot in his district for any office to win.

He ran for County Executive as an Independent in the 2006 elections doing well in District 4. He helped Mark Fennel run his primary-winning campaign for council District 4 in 2008.

And he has placed over 20 charter amendments on the Montgomery County ballot since 1974, including Question B on property tax relief in 2008, which passed for homeowners despite the opposition of virtually every elected official and press outlet.

So if you are going to discuss the race for County Council in the April 21 and May 19 special elections in District 4, discuss the issues. I'm sure Robin would like to discuss them with you.

Posted by: barbaraj1 | February 26, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Barbaraj, with all due respect towards Ficker and his achievements, here is an issue for all voters in District 4...

If Ficker is elected for District 4, but lives far from its boundaries, how well can he ensure those citizen's local interests are represented. I see this as the key to how Ficker must campaign TO the residents fo District 4.

If a decision or initiative will benefit the district where he lives (in Boyds) but NOT benefit District will Ficker vote? Will he place the interests and issues concerning District 4 residents above and beyond the interests of his neigbors in Boyds?

I hate to play devil's advocate, but if Ficker wants to win, it seems that he should reach out to District 4 residents on these points and prove to them he can properly represent.

The usually talk about West Point and his tax-reduction feelings are already known, but they are NOT the key to how MoCo citizens of any district want to be represented in the council. Local issues are discussed and resolved there.

Ficker is a Repub running in a largely Democratic County. And recent Repub moves at national and state levels have only hurt the public's opinion of the GOP. To gain a fighting chance, I suggest Ficker address the issue to District 4 residents - to avoid the issue of where he lives would be a mistake and may cost him any good shot he has a a win.


Posted by: free-donny | February 27, 2009 10:18 AM | Report abuse

To frame my above comments a different way: I have nothing personal against Ficker. I advice to him would be to avoid the unrealistic and nebulour tax-cutting talk. It has NOT won for the GOP in the 4th district in the past and will fail them again.

I suggest instead - doing the research and talking to those in District 4. We know times are tough and taxes are being hiked all over the U.S. We just do NOT want to see our kids education quality falter or our police and public safety suffer during this belt-tightening.

Stressing that he can represent District 4 interests will be the key. I don't know if Ficker has kids or grandkids in the MCPS system, so I don't know if schools are #1 for him. He has seemed harsh on police benefits recently and it may be that out in Boyds, there is not such a need for police (because its out in the country).

Anyway, I live in District 4 ans that is what interests me in a Council candidate. I DO plan to vote.

Posted by: free-donny | February 27, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

He lives in District 4 and has lived there off and on since 1969. How long have you lived there free-donny?

Posted by: barbaraj1 | February 27, 2009 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Since 1995 .. and I live here NOW. I can actually vote in the election. Ficker can't even vote in the election. I don't hate Ficker for trying. He found a loophole that makes his candidacy perfectly legal.. and I know he is asmart guy and knowledgable laywer.

However, I still recommend he make his case to the voters of District 4. Why would he not do so. Can you tell me why its NOT a smart thing to do if he wants to win?

I guess I don't understand your logic if you back Ficker. I'm sure he will try to appeal to the voters. To NOT do so, will make it appear that he is merely chasing the council seat as some sort of trophy for himself and that he does not really care what the voters he hopes to represent think.

A Ficker victory is NOT impossible, but wouldn't you agree the odds area against him if he does not get involved with the people of District 4?

Boyds is in district 2. Ficker must win over voters who may suspect that if he wins, District 2 will be better represented by Ficker than District 4. Why should District 2 have two Council members representing them and District 4 have none?

Ficker, take your case to the voters.

Posted by: free-donny | February 27, 2009 6:50 PM | Report abuse

wrong again free-donny. The facts confuse you. Robin is registered to vote in District 4 and has lived there for more years than you have.

Posted by: barbaraj1 | February 27, 2009 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Barbara, I do stand corrected. You know a lot about Ficker. So, your saying he lives in Boyds, but votes in District 4?

Look, I have a feeling that most District 4 voters have lived here longer than I have. What point does that make? Ficker needs to address that issue with ALL OF US WHO VOTE. That is really the only point I've tried to make on this post. Do you agree with that or do you really believe he can win based on his GOP platform alone.

Well, we agree to disagree. I would advise him differently id he does not want his campaign money wasted and if he expects any support from MD GOP. He's going to have to play hard. Fennel ran a pretty good campaign agaisnt Praisner and still got slaughtered by the Democrat.

I just think that if you don't intend to try to win, don't waste everyone's time and your own.


Posted by: free-donny | February 27, 2009 8:13 PM | Report abuse

he lives and votes in 4. His question B passed in 4 by 2,000 votes. Robin has views on all the issues that are consonant with the voters of District 4. Come to a debate and you will be impressed.

Posted by: barbaraj1 | February 27, 2009 8:18 PM | Report abuse

An honest challenge, I will try. TGIF!

Posted by: free-donny | February 27, 2009 8:21 PM | Report abuse

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