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.