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County election filing begins

July 06, 2005|by PEPPER BALLARD

WASHINGTON COUNTY

pepperb@herald-mail.com

Private attorney Gordon Arthur Lynn has filed to run for Washington County State's Attorney in the 2006 election, said County Election Board deputy director Kaye Robucci.

Tuesday was the first day to file for county offices - including the state's attorney and sheriff - that are up for grabs in the 2006 election. She said no one else had filed to run for office by 4:30 p.m., when the election board closes.

Washington County State's Attorney Charles P. Strong Jr., 58, said he plans to run.

"I will definitely be filing," he said.

Strong was appointed to county state's attorney in July 2004 after former county State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr. was appointed a District Court judge. Long had been state's attorney since 1982.

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Lynn, 47, of 13316 Fairfax Road in Hagerstown, who filed as a Republican, said in a phone interview Tuesday that he decided to run "quite awhile ago."

He said it's time for a change.

"It seems to me that the state's attorney's office now is concerned with numbers and is not really concerned with doing the right thing," he said.

In a phone interview Tuesday, Strong said, "This office has always concerned itself, and will continue to concern itself, with doing justice."

Strong, who passed the Maryland Bar in 1972, began working for the State's Attorney's Office in 1988 as the Washington County Narcotics Task Force prosecutor. He became the deputy state's attorney in 1993.

Lynn, who passed the Maryland Bar in 1985, has served in the Army as a judge advocate general and a special assistant U.S. state's attorney. He was law partners with City Councilman Lewis Metzner from 1990 to 1994, he said.

After winning a record five terms as Washington County sheriff, Charles Mades said Tuesday that he hasn't made up his mind whether he'll run in 2006.

"I'm not ready to say that I'm not" running, said Mades, who first ran for sheriff in 1986 after a 25-year career with the Maryland State Police.

Dan Harold Seiler, 57, of 401 Thames St. in Hagerstown, has filed to set up a campaign account to run for sheriff, but had not filed his candidacy by Tuesday afternoon, Robucci said.

Seiler is chief investigator for Cops Inc., a Tri-State and national polygraph and investigative agency, according to the Cops Inc. Web site, www.copscorp.com. He retired as a sergeant from the Maryland State Police in 1991 after more than 20 years of service, he said.

He said his love for the county and his experience with local government are just a few reasons why he decided to run, but he plans to address community policing, how services are used and Homeland Security plans if he's elected.

The sheriff earns an annual salary of $67,500 and the state's attorney earns an annual salary of $100,350, Dee Hawbaker, county human resources administrator, said Tuesday.

The salary for the sheriff was increased to $80,000 by the Maryland General Assembly this past session, according to published reports. The sheriff's salary, according to the Maryland Constitution, cannot be increased or decreased during a term of office, said Washington County Delegation Chairman Christopher B. Shank. The increase will take effect when the elected sheriff is sworn in, he said.

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