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Strong remains State's Attorney

November 08, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

WASHINGTON COUNTY - The current Washington County State's Attorney held on to his job Tuesday, according to complete but unofficial vote totals.

With 50 of 50 precincts reporting, Charles P. Strong had 20,534 votes and his Democratic challenger, Jerry Joyce, had 14,948 votes.

According to the Washington County Board of Elections, 4,037 absentee ballots were distributed, and 3,550 had been returned by Tuesday evening."We're very gratified by the support shown by the voters through their votes," said Strong, 59, of Hagerstown. Strong said he was looking forward to continuing programs his office began in the last 18 months, including truancy and mediation initiatives and a juvenile drug court.

Joyce, who voiced a spirited opposition to Strong's administration during the campaign, said Tuesday night he was planning to hold on to his yard signs.

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"I'm hoping as a result of my criticism - my criticism and other people's criticism - they'll see fit to make some improvements there," said Joyce, 58, of Hagerstown.

According to the Washington County Board of Elections, the new state's attorney's four-year term begins on the first Monday in January, which in 2007 will be Jan. 1. Strong's salary this year is $100,350, said Dee Hawbaker, the county's human resources administrator.

In an interview with The Herald-Mail before the election, Strong called himself "an equal-opportunity prosecutor. Rich or poor, regardless of race, I will prosecute those who break the laws."

Strong was appointed to the position in 2004 when M. Kenneth Long Jr. was named a Washington County District Court judge.

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