Former Prince George’s County Council member Ingrid M. Turner will join the circuit court bench after being elected Tuesday to fill one of four seats.
Sitting judges otherwise retained their seats in jurisdictions where they faced Election Day-challengers, while all appellate court judges on the ballot were also approved for continuance in office.
Turner, 52, who briefly ran for Congress before withdrawing to enter the judicial race, finished with the highest percentage of votes — 23 percent — to join the three remaining sitting judges on the bench.
“I think I bring a diverse perspective that will be unique here in Prince George’s County,” said Turner, who spent 20 years in the U.S. Navy JAG Corps before her career in politics.
Turner finished second in the Democratic primary. Judge Erik H. Nyce, who was appointed in January, withdrew from the general election, citing an unwillingness to compete with his colleagues. Turner joins Judge Herman C. Dawson, who has been on the bench for 17 years and was reappointed when his term expired, and Judges Karen Holliday Mason and Dorothy Michelle Engel, who were appointed in 2016.
Another challenger, April T. Ademiluyi finished with 13.3 percent of the vote. She lost both parties’ primaries but received the nomination of the Libertarian Party to be on the general election ballot.
Because of her time on the county council, Turner said she has good working relationships with judges, law enforcement and public safety officials and hopes to continue those relationships with a focus on early intervention to connect people with resources before they enter the criminal justice system or as an alternative to incarceration.“When you step back, how can you prevent it from happening so they don’t even come into our courtroom?” she said.
Turner’s next step will be training and orientation for new judges.
“I look forward to training,” she said. “When you stop learning, that’s a problem.”
Turner comes from a military family, and her father eventually retired in Prince George’s County after being stationed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda. A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and Catholic University Columbus School of Law, Turner served two terms as a county council member after retiring from military services in 2006.
“I started out [with] service to my country, service to my community,” she said. “It’s a lifetime motto.”
Turner’s desire to be a judge actually dates back to elementary school, when her fifth-grade class created a micro-society, including choosing a president, police chief and judge. The experience presiding over the cases of her fellow 10-year-old students stuck with her.
“My classmates always said they were happy because I was always fair,” she said. “I never thought it would be possible but I always wanted to be a judge.”
In Anne Arundel County, challenger Claudia Barber received 14 percent of the vote, failing to unseat incumbent Judges Glenn Klavans, Stacy W. McCormack, Donna Schaeffer and Cathy Vitale.
In Baltimore County, Judges Kathleen G. Cox and Keith R. Truffer retained their seats, defeating Libertarian candidate Leo Wayne Dymowski, who received 18.8 percent of the vote.
Court of Appeals Judges Michele D. Hotten and Clayton Greene Jr. were approved for continuance in office, as were Court of Special Appeals Judges Dan Friedman, Timothy E. Meredith and Patrick L. Woodward.