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Long files to retain his Circuit Court judgeship

June 14, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

Washington County Circuit Judge M. Kenneth Long Jr. has filed to retain the newly created post to which he was appointed in December 2005.

According to the Maryland State Board of Elections Web site, Long, 59, of Hagerstown, filed May 25 for the judgeship, which carries a 15-year term.

No one else had filed by Tuesday, according to the Web site.

If elected, Long would be required to retire at age 70, he said.

"I certainly am hopeful that I'll be elected to a term as a Circuit Court judge. I hope to serve the community in that capacity," Long said Tuesday.

Since February, Long has served as the county's fifth circuit judge, a position created in response to the court's increasing caseloads. Gov. Robert Ehrlich appointed Long to the bench in December 2005.

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Before that, Long served as a Washington County District judge, an office to which Ehrlich appointed him in June 2004 upon the retirement of District Judge R. Noel Spence.

A 1973 graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, Long was elected state's attorney for Washington County in 1982. He was elected to the post five times before being appointed a District Court judge.

Circuit Judge Frederick C. Wright III, Circuit Court administrative judge, wrote to State Court Administrator Frank Broccolina seeking a fifth Washington County judge in 2004, saying that because of an increased caseload, the need for another judge had become "acute." According to the Administrative Office of the Courts, Washington County's caseload had justified another Circuit judge since 1994, The Herald-Mail has reported.

Candidates for the Circuit Court bench must be a member of the Maryland Bar, at least 30 years old and a resident of Maryland for at least five years, of which six months must be in the desired court's jurisdiction, said Jared DeMarinis, director of candidacy and campaign finance for the Maryland State Board of Elections.

The seat is not affiliated with a political party, DeMarinis said.

DeMarinis said candidates must file at the state election board in Annapolis and pay a $50 filing fee.

Candidates must submit for the Administrative Office of the Courts a listing of assets to determine whether there are any conflicts of interest.

The filing deadline is July 3.

The primary election is Sept. 12; the general election is Nov. 7.

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