ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND - Last night at the Democrat Spring Ball, Daniel "The Whig Man" Vovak, a Bethesda Republican, offered the job of Montgomery County Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) to Councilman Mike Knapp (D-2 Upcounty). Should Vovak be elected as County Executive, the county charter allows him to appoint the job to a qualified person.
"Republicans need to work with Democrats, not against them," says Vovak. "Connie Morella set the example for electable Republicans in Montgomery County, and I will follow that example. Although Knapp has outgrown his job as a district councilman, with the new job as chief administrative officer, he will have the authority to implement many fiscal changes that he wants to do, but currently is overruled in doing."
Vovak approached Knapp when he was in an intense discussion with Delegate Brian Feldman (D-15). Feldman was openly asking riveting questions about Knapp's future, which includes a possible primary challenge to County Executive Isiah Leggett. Knapp's decision is the last major puzzle piece needed for Montgomery County elections. Knapp has four options: 1) Enter the private sector, 2) Face Leggett in a contentious primary for county executive, 3) Run for re-election in District 2, or 4) Accept Vovak's offer as chief administrative officer.
Knapp, a Blue-Dog Democrat, already faces Sharon Dooley in a primary. Should Knapp withdraw from the contest, he has indicated he will endorse Delegate Craig Rice (D-15 Germantown) for his current job. The winner will face Robin Ficker, a Republican running for Councilman in District 2. The top-paid job in Montgomery County at $266,000 per year, the CAO reports to the county executive, supervising all departments and offices of the executive branch and also advising the county executive on administrative matters. In addition, the CAO coordinates management review and decision-making on policies, programs, plans, budgets, legislation, regulations, and similar matters.
"Although I hold no resentment again Tim Firestine [the current CAO], I will stop Council's current spending binge," says Vovak. "Every elected official in Montgomery County is a Democrat, which is a monopoly killing our county fiscally. Leggett and Firestine have watched our county government have a $1 billion gap, which is an abomination. I don't know if Mike [Knapp] will accept my offer, but I would love to have him on my team, changing county government" says Vovak.