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State's Attorney Strong announces election bid

April 06, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

HAGERSTOWN - Washington County State's Attorney Charles P. Strong Jr. announced his bid for election Wednesday to keep his job as the county's head prosecutor, a position to which he was appointed in 2004.

Strong, 59, made the public announcement Wednesday morning in front of family, friends and colleagues outside Washington County Courthouse. Supporters held large campaign bumper stickers that flapped in the wind as Strong spoke about his close ties to the community and how he plans to "make this a better, safer place to raise children."

Strong, a Republican, will face private attorney Gordon A. Lynn, also a Republican, in the primary election Sept. 12. The general election is Nov. 7.

Lynn, 47, of 13316 Fairfax Road in Hagerstown, was the first to file for any office in the 2006 election and is Strong's only competitor in the race to date.

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The deadline to file for the offices is July 3, 2006, said Kaye Robucci, county Board of Elections election deputy director.

Strong, of 1423 The Terrace in Hagerstown, was appointed county state's attorney by the county's Circuit Court judges in July 2004 after former State's Attorney M. Kenneth Long Jr. was appointed by Gov. Robert Ehrlich to a District judgeship.

On Wednesday, Strong said he has felt "privileged" to serve as state's attorney and hopes to continue serving the county's citizens.

"I have not forgotten the courtroom, unlike my peers in jurisdictions my size," he said. Strong added that his office has a strong violent crimes prosecution program and "aggressively prosecutes" crimes against all victims, from children to Maryland Division of Correction employees.

After passing the Maryland Bar in 1972, Strong worked for more than five years as a prosecutor in Prince George's County, Md., and then worked as a prosecutor - an assistant and then deputy - in Washington County for more than a year. He then spent about five years in private practice, he said. In 1988, Strong returned to the Washington County Office of the State's Attorney, at which time he worked 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.

Lynn said Wednesday, "I want to congratulate him for getting in the race. I look forward to the primary in September. I think it's going to be a great race."

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