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3 judges, 3 lawyers vie for Montgomery Co. Circuit Court seat

ROCKVILLE – Gov. Larry Hogan will mull over the names of two district court judges, a magistrate judge and three attorneys as he weighs whom to appoint to Judge Michael D. Mason’s soon-to-be-vacant seat on the Montgomery County Circuit Court.

The Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission for Montgomery County recently the six names to Hogan recently as the governor considers a successor to Mason, who has served on the court since 1994 and will retire upon reaching the mandatory judicial retirement age of 70 on Dec. 6.

Four of the candidates were automatically submitted to the governor as the commission had forwarded their names to Hogan for an earlier vacancy on the circuit court in Rockville within the past two years but were not appointed. The second-chance candidates are Montgomery County District Judges Patricia Lynn Mitchell and John Christian Moffett; Clark E. Wisor III, a family magistrate judge; and attorney Gerald W. Heller, a litigation partner at Linowes & Blocher LLP in Bethesda.

The two other candidates are Theresa M. Chernosky, a public defender, and Christopher C. Fogleman, a partner at Gleason, Flynn, Emig, Fogleman & McAfee Chtd. in Rockville.

Hogan is not bound to make his appointment from the commission’s submitted list but it has been gubernatorial practice for more than 40 years.

Circuit-court appointments are not subject to Senate confirmation. Sitting circuit court judges, however, do run for election in the first general election after their first year on the bench.

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