Jessamy pulls ahead, as do circuit judges

State's attorney seeking third term

Orphans' Court judges lead challenger

City Courts, Prosecutor

Maryland Votes 2006 -- The Primary Election

September 13, 2006|By Julie Bykowicz | Julie Bykowicz,SUN REPORTER

Baltimore's elected criminal justice officials in last night's primary appeared to be keeping their jobs, with city State's Attorney Patricia C. Jessamy holding a comfortable lead over her opponent with more than half of the precincts reporting and the three sitting circuit judges leading their three challengers.

Jessamy, 58, who has been the city's top prosecutor since 1995, faced off yesterday against Stephan W. Fogleman, 37, a local attorney and resident of Canton who said he entered the race for state's attorney because no one else did.

Both are Democrats, and Jessamy, completing her second elected term, will be unopposed in the general election.

The state's attorney's message, "Jessamy for justice," hit home with Baltimore citizens, said Margaret T. Burns, her spokeswoman. "She has always maintained that she works for the citizens," Burns said.

Fogleman said he was pleased with his campaign and thought that his message - "Fight crime, not cops" - resonated with many city residents.

"Even if I am not successful tonight, I hope that I can be a part of working together with Mrs. Jessamy," Fogleman said last night as the results were coming in.

Slow reporting

Because of polling problems, including absent or tardy election judges, Baltimore's polls were slow to report.

With more than half of city precincts reporting, Jessamy was ahead by more than a 2-to-1 margin, and Circuit Judges John C. Themelis, Gale E. Rasin and Barry G. Williams were ahead in the Democratic and Republican primaries.

The three had fretted over their places at the end of the ballot, which is organized alphabetically. They faced three challengers, including District Judge Emanuel Brown, who were listed higher. Conventional wisdom is that some voters who might not know the candidates vote from the top to the bottom.

With the campaign slogan "Vote from the bottom up," the three sitting judges aimed to counter that. None will face another campaign for 15 years.

"We knew it was going to be a tough race," Williams said. "But we believe we did everything we could to get the citizens to understand our qualifications."

Orphans' Court

In other courthouse races, Orphans' Court Judges Joyce M. Baylor-Thomson, Karen "Chaya" Friedman and Lewyn S. Garrett were leading challenger Ramona Baker-Moore with more than half of the precincts reporting. All four are Democrats; no Republicans ran.

Baker-Moore was criticized late last month by the Maryland Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee for wrongfully implying in campaign literature that she was a sitting Orphans' Court judge.

Baltimore Sheriff John W. Anderson and Circuit Court Clerk Frank M. Conaway also appeared to retain their seats, with more than half of the precincts reporting. Each was opposed by a Democratic challenger but no Republicans.

Running unopposed for her job as register of wills, Conaway's wife, Mary W. Conaway, will keep her job.

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