Montgomery County Council member Nancy Floreen (D-At-Large) said Monday she will not run for the 8th District congressional seat being vacated by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D), citing the time she would have to commit to fundraising.
Floreen, 63, said she was not daunted by the large field of possible competitors or the $1.5 million to $2 million she said she would need to run a competitive Democratic primary campaign. Her concern, she said, was the amount of time she would have to invest as an incumbent in keeping a campaign war chest full.
“I spent a solid month thinking about this and got some great advice,” she said. “At the end of the day, I decided I don’t want to condemn myself to a lifetime of raising big money. No disrespect to the current members of Congress. I just can’t see me doing that.”
Floreen, who is serving her fourth council term, was one of at least a dozen Montgomery politicians who have announced their intention to run or have expressed interest in the seat, which opened when Van Hollen announced last month that he would run to replace the retiring Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md).
Del. Kumar Barve (D-Montgomery) has formally announced his candidacy. State Sen. Jamie Raskin (D-Montgomery) and former Council member Valerie Ervin of Silver Spring have said they intend to announce soon.
Floreen said she was leaning heavily toward running as late as last week and was on the verge of signing up consultants. But she said she had a change of heart over the holiday weekend when she began seriously looking at the fundraising requirements.
“Everybody rails against the role of money in politics, but you are judged on how much money you’re able to raise,” she said.
Floreen is the last of the group of Montgomery council members who looked at the race and took a pass. Council members Nancy Navarro (D-Midcounty) and Hans Riemer (D-At-Large) decided against running.
All are likely to look seriously at running for county executive in 2018.