SILVER SPRING, MD – Standing before a large gathering at Silver Branch Brewery to kick off his campaign for Montgomery County Executive, County Councilman Hans Riemer pledged to have a beer with each of the county’s one million residents before election day.
“I’ve always fought to increase economic activity and helped make Montgomery County a place where breweries like Astrolab, Waredaca and True Respite can thrive,” said Riemer, trying to hold his microphone while double-fisting two beers. “And I look forward to discussing my ideas with each of you while doing my best not to slur my words.”
The Democratic primary election for County Executive, which is shaping up to be a three-way race between Riemer, incumbent Marc Elrich and local businessman David Blair, will be held close to one year from today. In order to keep his promise, that leaves Riemer with a little more than 365 days to have a beer with all 1,055,110 residents. To maintain the necessary pace, he will have to drink about 2,891 beers per day.
“I honestly think he can do it,” said supporter Doug Harper. “Hans is a man of integrity and when he says he’s going to do something, I know where he stands, or, in this case, lays down after he’s had too much to drink.”
Opponents were quick to pounce on Riemer’s pledge. “Councilman Riemer is clearly promising things that he’ll never be able to do, much like so many of his other proposals that get unanimous council support before I veto them,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “If Hans achieves this goal and wins the primary race, I’ll be impressed but also confused by how a permanently drunk candidate will have outperformed me.”
To track the pledge, election statistician Nate Silver has created a page on his Five Thirty Eight blog called “Ok, Riemer,” which will track Riemer’s daily beer drinking progress, as well as his liver function. According to the site, Hans is already 120.5 beers behind schedule after he lost an hour at his kick-off event by talking about his pro-housing proposals.
In recognition of how much publicity Riemer has received for his beer challenge, Blair and Elrich have also now made similar drinking pledges. David Blair proposed drinking 365 bottles of Dom Perignon champagne over the next year while Elrich plans to stomach 1,000 gallons of home-made kombucha. Assumed Republican candidate Robin Ficker also hinted at joining the pledge, offering to drink 100 cases of Mountain Dew Code Red.