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Judgeship list narrowed to 3

April 01, 2004|by BRIAN SHAPPELL

shappell@herald-mail.com

WASHINGTON COUNTY - Attorneys M. Kenneth Long Jr., Gregory Curtis Bannon and Daniel Patrick Dwyer are being considered for a Washington County District Court judgeship, according to a Wednesday posting on a Maryland Judiciary Web site.

Long, Bannon and Dwyer were among eight people interviewed Tuesday by the Washington County Judicial Nominating Commission for the seat vacated by District Judge Noel Spence, who retired.

Nominating commission member Kirk C. Downey would not comment on why the three made the final list, saying the deliberations were confidential.

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Downey said the three will be interviewed by Gov. Robert Ehrlich, who will make the appointment.

Dwyer, a registered Democrat who lives north of Hagerstown, said he learned his name was one of those forwarded to the governor when people began calling him at work Wednesday morning.

"I was surprised and very happy," Dwyer said. "I consider myself honored to be in the company I'm in. It's a pretty exclusive trio with Ken Long and Greg Bannon being such good attorneys."

Dwyer is a domestic relations master, a court-appointed hearing officer who makes legal recommendations in family law cases. Dwyer said the position is similar to being a judge, although he makes recommendations to a judge.

Bannon, a registered Republican from Boonsboro, was surprised to learn he was a finalist.

"I certainly was relieved. I certainly didn't think I had it in the bag," he said.

Bannon, a Hagerstown-based private attorney with Bannon & Balog, said he previously applied for a Washington County District Court judgeship in 1995 and for a Circuit Court judgeship the following year. He was approved by the nominating commission both times but was not selected by the governor.

Long, a registered Republican who lives in Hagerstown, said little about the commission's decision.

Long is the Washington County state's attorney.

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