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Strong leads in tight race for state's attorney

September 13, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

In a tight three-way race, Washington State's Attorney Charles P. Strong Jr. was leading with 50 of 50 precincts reporting Tuesday and likely will face Democrat Jerry Joyce in the race to retain his seat.

According to complete but unofficial results late Tuesday, Strong was leading two Republican challengers, Gordon A. Lynn, 48, of 13316 Fairfax Road in Hagerstown, and Gregory C. Bannon, 53, of 8331 Old National Pike in Boonsboro, in the primary election.

Bannon was trailing by 473 votes after all 50 precincts had been counted.

According to the Washington County Board of Elections, about 970 absentee ballots had been returned Tuesday and will be counted Thursday.

Absentee ballots must be received by Sept. 20, according to the board of elections.

"We're very pleased with the numbers where they're at, but with so many outstanding absentee ballots, we still want to wait for a final count before we make a comment," said Strong campaign manager Brett Wilson.

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Joyce, 58, of Hagerstown, ran unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The general election is Nov. 7.

Strong, 59, of 1423 The Terrace in Hagerstown, took over as state's attorney in 2004 after Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich appointed M. Kenneth Long Jr. to the position of Washington County District judge.

A private attorney, Joyce promised during the summer to devote 10 percent of his salary to efforts such as building a Web site to track drug dealers, if elected state's attorney.

The state's attorney is elected to a four-year term, and the position pays $100,350 a year, said Dee Hawbaker, county human resources administrator.

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