A handful of sitting judges across Maryland faced challengers in Tuesday’s primary, but only three jurisdictions will see contested judicial elections in November.
Challengers in Caroline, Carroll and Harford counties garnered enough support in at least one party’s primary to make it through to the general election. The sitting judges they are challenging are all recent appointees who are seeking a full 15-year term on the bench.
Judges appear on both Democratic and Republican ballots and voters may select as many candidates as there are positions. If a challenger is in the top choices on either ticket, they proceed to the general election.
In Caroline County, Judge Jonathan G. Newell won on the Republican ballot but challenger Dennis Farina, a longtime attorney in the county, won on the Democratic side. Newell is the former state’s attorney and was appointed to the bench in 2016.
Judge Richard R. Titus in Carroll County won the Republican primary but Maria L. Oesterreicher, a former prosecutor, won on the Democratic side. Titus was appointed to the bench in 2016.
Judges Lawrence F. Kreis Jr. and Paul W. Ishak in Harford County were the top two vote-getters in the Republican race but challenger Diane Askins-Tobin received the most votes in the Democratic primary and will move forward to November. Both Kreis and Ishak joined the bench last year.