Elections Night- Nancy Floreen
By Joan Muwahed
November 14, 2018
Live Tweeting: Election Night
I was assigned to cover the three-way Montgomery County executive race. The candidate I was assigned to was Independent candidate Nancy Floreen. I attended her watch-party in Rockville Maryland at the Match-Box restaurant.
When I initially got assigned to this, I was worried because I hadn’t heard about Floreen and did not understand what a county executive race was. Because I come from a completely different background, I found myself trying to understand more about what the midterm elections are and who were the key candidates running. I had to do in-depth research and know more about the two other candidates running for that executive position, Mark Elrich and Robin Ficker.
I learned that Floreen and Elrich are both County Council veterans and Floreen is also a registered Democrat but turned Independent for this race. It was interesting to learn how quickly she set up her campaign and got accepted to run only a hundred days before election. She explains that she had a large amount of volunteers helping her with her campaign and she was very proud of that. I also learned more about how Elrich and Floreen were neck and neck during the race and Ficker was not a solid competitor. However, as results showed, Elrich won by a stretch over Floreen.
Before I got to the event, I tweeted to let my followers know I’m heading to an elections night watch-party and included a photo of a poster I found by the street close to the restaurant the event was held at.
I arrived very early, so I tried to familiarize myself with the place and get myself comfortable.
I introduced myself to the people around including reporters, campaign managers, and volunteers for Floreen’s campaign. I got a couple of interviews before the watch-party started because some people were there super early (guests.) I met a couple of the press from Montgomery County TV and Channel 4 which was an interesting experience, I watched them set up the satellite from their cars outside the venue.
I got a chance to speak to Floreen’s campaign manager, Richard Parsons, who told me more about how hard Floreen worked in such a short period of time to campaign for her position.
By 8.30 p.m. the room started to fill up with Floreen advocates and I continued to have interesting conversations with her supporters and got some really good audio for the podcast of the Reporting for Public Affairs class.
My aim was to speak to Floreen, so I waited for her to come in eagerly. She walked in at 9.00 p.m. and once I saw her I directly jumped at the opportunity to speak to her. As soon as I introduced myself and said I was from American University she said, “Are you from The Wash? I saw your tweets.” I was happy to hear that because she clearly saw my live-tweets using her handle before she came to the event, which made it easier to have an easy flowing conversation amidst the chaos around her.
Floreen then gave a speech to her audience while waiting for the results and said it would most likely be a long night ahead.
A couple of hours later, Floreen announced that she had lost to Elrich, and he is now Montgomery County executive.
The challenge after this was whether or not I should go up to her and try to get another soundbite or to leave it just to the concession speech she gave. Although she was almost in tears after her speech, I followed her and filmed her giving her supporters and friends hugs after hearing the news. I then jumped at the opportunity again and asked to speak to her. I got another soundbite of her thanking everyone who advocated for her and the hard work they did to get to this point. I was really glad I pushed myself to speak to her at both times because I would have missed out on the chance to expose myself to this.