Candidates for court posts have their say

Republican primary has attracted 11 seeking judgeships, other positions

Maryland Votes 2006


The Republican primary next month should prove lively for every contested race in Carroll County, and the races for the county's seven court positions will be no exception.

Only two Democrats are running for court spots - one for clerk of the court and one for register of wills. In contrast, there are 11 Republicans vying for their party's nominations for courthouse jobs, plus three nonpartisan candidates for judgeships.

This election marks only the second challenge to any sitting judge in Carroll County in more than 100 years, according to Judge J. Barry Hughes. He and Judge Thomas F. Stansfield - friends since the 1970s - are running as a slate against challenger Kevin D. Wise, a Baltimore attorney.

The three sitting Orphans' Court judges are also running as a slate.

The candidates provided biographical information.

Candidates for the September primary:

Circuit Court

J. Barry Hughes (incumbent)

Age: 57

Party: Nonpartisan

Residence: Westminster

Family: Wife, Teresa; three adult children.

Occupation: Appointed Circuit Court judge in 2004; attorney in Carroll County for 27 years, family law and criminal defense.

Education: Bachelor's degree in history, University of Maryland, Baltimore County; law degree, University of Maryland School of Law.

Philosophy: "Decisions on criminal sentencing, property rights and other issues are too important to be entrusted to anyone without a proven record of legal excellence and integrity. Judge Stansfield and I are the only candidates in this election that have these credentials. ... [We] have enacted significant changes in processing criminal and civil cases to reduce litigation costs, stress, waiting time for trials and to promote settlements."

Thomas F. Stansfield (incumbent)

Age: 56

Party: Nonpartisan

Residence: Westminster

Family: Wife, Martha A. Sitterding.

Occupation: Appointed Circuit Court judge in 2004; attorney in Carroll County for 28 years; family, real estate and zoning law.

Education: Bachelor's degree in history and business administration, Towson University; law degree, South Texas College of Law.

Philosophy: He and Hughes issued the same joint statement.

Kevin D. Wise

Age: 41

Party: Nonpartisan

Residence: Hampstead

Family: Wife, Terri; two children.

Occupation: Attorney practicing in Baltimore, representing civil and criminal defendants against corporations, the state and federal government. Campaign endorsed by Metropolitan Baltimore Council of AFL-CIO Unions.

Education: Bachelor's degree in political science, The Citadel; law degree, University of Maryland School of Law.

Philosophy: "My candidacy has already accomplished a goal of giving the people of Carroll County a choice in the election. ... It gives voters an opportunity to elect an open-minded and well-trained jurist with no hidden agendas. My only reason for running is that I love the law and wish to apply it fairly."

Clerk of the Court

Florence J. Barnes

Age: 48

Party: Republican

Residence: Hampstead

Family: Husband, Jerry (Carroll County state's attorney); one daughter.

Occupation: Law librarian, Circuit Court of Carroll County.

Education: Bachelor's degree in employee relations, business and industry, College of Notre Dame; master's degree in information science, Clarion University.

Philosophy: "I just want to ensure that the public and the legal community who do business with the clerk's office receive courteous and prompt service, as well as accurate information and assistance. I want to maintain ... a conservative and responsible budget."

Nimrod Davis Jr.

Age: 80

Party: Democrat

Residence: Sykesville

Family: Wife, Ann; Two adult daughters.

Occupation: Retired 18 years ago. Previously worked in construction as a project coordinator.

Education: Mount Airy High School; two years at Santa Monica (Calif.) Junior College; night school classes in construction management through University of Baltimore.

Philosophy: "The big thing is to make sure that everyone who comes through that whole system is treated with respect and the job is done complete. I'm sort of a finicky person when it comes to anything I do; I want to make sure it's exactly right."

Sarah E. Hackett

Age: 53

Party: Republican

Residence: Westminster

Family: Husband, Bob.

Occupation: Chief deputy clerk for the Carroll County Circuit Court clerk's office.

Education: Three years at Allegany Community College and Towson University; some accounting courses at Carroll Community College.

Philosophy: "We have some issues coming up with electronic filing and making documents available to the public. I want to make sure that the system that is put in the office is a safe system as far as securing information that is private. ... We are developing a program for business owners to be able to renew their annual business licenses via the Internet, so that will reduce the time for them."

Pamela L. Masimore-Grimes

Age: 54

Party: Republican

Residence: Union Bridge

Family: Husband, Buddy; two adult children.

Occupation: Criminal assignment officer with the Carroll County Circuit Court.

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