Montgomery County became the first jurisdiction in Maryland to employ a voluntary system of public campaign financing in this year’s elections, and the results in the Democratic primaries show just how effective it is. Six of the nine Democratic nominees for County Council used public financing, as did Mark Elrich, who has a razor-thin lead in the Democratic primary for county executive over businessman David Blair, who spent $3 million of his own money on the race. Candidates who use public financing aren’t beholden to deep-pocketed campaign contributors. They can spend time talking to voters, not begging for money. And the voters clearly responded.