July 03–Earl Robbins still has some work to do if he wants to get on the November ballot as an independent candidate for the county executive seat.
In order to get on the ballot, Robbins needs to turn in 1,794 valid signatures from registered county voters, equating to 1 percent of the electorate.
Robbins’ first petition included 1,931 signatures, but only 1,611 of them were validated, Frederick County Election Director Stuart Harvey said Monday. Robbins needs to acquire 183 more signatures before Aug. 6, which will need to be validated, Harvey said.
Robbins’ petition had an approval rate of 83 percent, which Harvey noted is a strong approval rating for a first petition.
Robbins didn’t return a request for comment Monday, but he hosted a meet-the-candidate forum Thursday night in Frederick, where he had petitions for people to sign in case his campaign needed more signatures.
If Robbins gets the remaining signatures, he will be included on the Nov. 6 ballot as an independent running against incumbent County Executive Jan Gardner (D) and Republican hopeful Kathy Afzali.
Robbins explored a run for county executive four years ago as a Democrat but backed off.
Robbins said Thursday that his decision to run as an independent came as an effort to eschew party politics, which he says have led to increased division in society.
Running as an independent would allow Robbins to be “unfettered by party affiliations, free of party politics and finance” and put him in a position to “objectively observe and reach unbiased conclusions,” he said.
“As an independent candidate, willing to work from both ends of the political spectrum, I am confident I will be able to help blur this imaginary divide that keeps good people on both sides from working together, finding consensus where possible and compromise where it is not,” Robbins said.
The county executive serves a four-year term and is paid an annual salary of $95,000.
This article provided by NewsEdge.