Lawyer petitions to run for Circuit Court judgeship

Harford resident, 53, files as independent

August 01, 2002|By Joe Nawrozki | Joe Nawrozki,SUN STAFF

For the first time in recent memory, a lawyer has submitted a petition to the state Board of Elections to run as an independent for a Circuit Court judgeship.

In filing yesterday, Stuart Robinson of Harford County sidestepped the September primary election and will face an opponent in the November general election.

Robinson, 53, of Havre de Grace said state officials have 20 days to certify the 1,776 signatures he gathered on the petition he filed in Annapolis. He needed 1,216 signatures to get onto the ballot, Robinson said.

"He is the first to file as a petition candidate for judge of the Circuit Court in my time here at the Board of Elections," said Donna J. Duncan, director of the election management division. She has worked in the division for more than 20 years.

Robinson will oppose Judge William O. Carr, the county administrative judge, or lawyer Steven Scheinin, who will face each other in the primary Sept. 10. Carr and Scheinin will appear on the Republican and Democratic ballots, as is customary for circuit judges in Maryland.

Five judges sit on the Harford County Circuit Court of the 3rd Judicial Circuit, which hears major civil and criminal cases.

Operating a modest campaign, Robinson said he will not hold political fund-raisers or accept donations and will personally finance his campaign.

"That's why I dropped any political affiliation and became an independent," Robinson said. "To do otherwise as a candidate for a judgeship presents a potential for conflict of interest."

Robinson earned his law degree in 1974 from the University of Baltimore. In addition to his law practice, Robinson has lectured and taught at several local universities. He is active in civic activities, including the Harford Jewish Council and the Harford County chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

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