"I run for the families of victims murdered in cold blood who are denied justice when the death penalty is taken off the table for expediency," Bannon told the crowd, adding that he cannot remember the last time a death- penalty case was tried before this election year.
He said he also runs for the schoolteacher who serves the county for 30 years, "only to be treated like a criminal for grabbing the arm of an unruly student," while the same system tells such students "they can do whatever they want."
He said he also is running for the police officer who makes an arrest, only to find out "they've worked out a plea agreement without his input."
Bannon said he would not allow defense attorneys to "judge shop to get the most lenient sentence" and wants to see that local police jurisdictions get the training they need to arrest illegal immigrants.
"A prosecutor's job is not just to obtain convictions. A prosecutor's job is to see that justice is done," he said.
Bannon is one of four county attorneys being considered by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr. for appointment to the District Court bench, a vacancy created with the elevation of M. Kenneth Long Jr. to a Circuit Court judgeship.
When asked Monday if his candidacy for state's attorney will interfere with his application for the bench, Bannon said, "If the governor asks me to serve in any position, I will."
Bannon, of Bannon & Balog in Hagerstown, has been practicing law in Hagerstown since 1979, he said.
He said he chose to run in this election because, "I thought it would be a good chance to serve the community."
The deadline to file for election is July 3. The general election is Nov. 7.
The state's attorney has an annual salary of $100,350 a year, according to County Attorney Richard W. Douglas.