Category Archives: Judicial Elections

Important: Remember to Vote for the Sitting Judges

Unlike the federal judiciary, Maryland has a process for selecting judges that greatly depoliticizes the process and ensures that judges are well qualified. Governors must select judges from a short list of applicants vetted and recommended by judicial nominating commissions. This greatly reduces polarization in the judiciary.

Circuit Court judges appear well down on the ballot, and it is easy for this race to get lost among the many officials we elect. But I strongly encourage you to mark your ballot for all four of the sitting judges: Carlos Acosta, Theresa Chernosky, Kathleen Dumais and Rachel McGuckian.

It is especially urgent that you do so because one of the challengers, Marylin Pierre, is a perennial candidate who would be a very poor choice. In 2020, her opponents were granted a temporary restraining order against her and her campaign surrogates.

Earlier that year, Pierre showed a basic misunderstanding of the judicial process when she tweeted “Lock em up’and then the burden of proof is on them to prove that they are not guilty of ‘contributory negligence an involuntary manslaughter “ [sic].

Bizarrely, this self-styled progressive candidate has also donated to Republicans and promised she would be a “’law and order’ judge who would be tough on bail” at the Montgomery County Republican Convention in 2018.

Now, the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland has filed a petition for disciplinary or remedial action against Marylin Pierre in the Court of Appeals. The petition documents how Pierre:

knowingly and intentionally misrepresented her experience, including how often she appear in court, the number and type of cases she handled, the number of cases she tried to verdict or judgement, and the number of jury trials she handled.

The complaint further shows that Pierre failed to disclose information about her 1996 detention by the Sheriff’s office for failure to attend a show cause hearing in a case against her. She was released several hours later after posting $500.00 bond. While she mentioned the incident in her 2012 questionnaire, she omitted it in responding to a direct question that should have elicited the information in seven questionnaires she filed after 2012.

I have posted the full complaint below but you can also find it by clicking here.


The Top Twenty Seventh State Posts of 2020, Part Two

By Adam Pagnucco.

Yesterday, we listed posts 11 through 20 in terms of page views for the year 2020. Here are the top ten.

  1. Volcano in Rockville

In the wake of former Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Andrew Kleine’s admitted ethics violations, County Executive Marc Elrich wanted him to stay in his job. But the county council was outraged by the scandal and exploded in public fury. The council’s anger wound up forcing Kleine out and opened the door to the ascension of the new CAO, former county budget director and state senator Rich Madaleno.

  1. Repeal the Linda Lamone for Life Law

The problems with the 2020 primary election prompted this historical post summarizing why the state has a law protecting its elections administrator, Linda Lamone, from accountability. Comptroller Peter Franchot and Lieutenant Governor Boyd Rutherford called for Lamone’s resignation but she survived for the thousandth time. Thankfully, the general election was a smoother affair than the primary.

  1. Sitting Judges Get Temporary Restraining Order Against Pierre
  2. Progressive-Backed Judge Candidate Courted, Donated to Republicans
  3. Judge Candidate on Floyd Cops: “Lock Em Up”

It’s fitting that these three posts finished back-to-back-to-back because they all concern the nastiest judicial election in recent MoCo history: the challenge by attorney Marylin Pierre to four sitting judges. This one had a LOT going on: partisanship, charges of racism, charges of lying and even a temporary restraining order. The whole thing cast a foul odor over the ballot box and led me to conclude that judicial elections should mostly be abolished.

  1. Harris Blasts MCEA Over School Reopening

School board elections are mostly sleepy affairs in which candidates agree at least 90% of the time and the only difference between them is which ones are endorsed by the Apple Ballot and the Post. Not this year! MCPS’s boundary study dominated the primary and school reopening took the spotlight in the general, with Lynne Harris (the Post’s candidate) blasting the teachers union for allegedly resisting reopening. Harris told Blair High School’s Silver Chips newspaper that the teachers “were obstructionist, inflammatory, and just said ‘no’ to everything.” That provoked a furious response and the teachers are unlikely to forget it.

  1. What’s More Important? The Liquor Monopoly or a Thousand Bartenders?

Early in the COVID crisis, Governor Larry Hogan gave counties discretion to allow restaurants to offer takeout and delivery of mixed drinks. Many other states and the City of Baltimore allowed it, but MoCo’s liquor monopoly did not. The issue prompted a mass revolt by restaurants and consumers and the county ultimately allowed it.

  1. IG Investigates “Overtime Scam” in the Fire Department

County Inspector General Megan Davey Limarzi blew the lid off county government with her landmark report on an overtime scam in the fire department. The scandal involved more than $900,000 of overtime which exceeded limits set by the fire chief and was scheduled outside of the system usually used by county public safety agencies. Readers were all over this but I have not heard of anyone being disciplined for it. As of this writing, this is the sixth most-read post in the history of Seventh State measured by page views.

  1. Restaurant: My Staff Will Not Wear Face Masks

Last July, The Grille at Flower Hill in Gaithersburg posted this on Facebook: “Let me be very clear…my staff will not wear face masks while working here at the Grille. If that bothers you then please dine elsewhere and please try to find something more important to occupy your time such as volunteer at a nursing home or soup kitchen. Whoever you are that filed the complaint, you need to take a good look in the mirror and try to find some real meaning in your life.” The post provoked a huge firestorm from irate customers resulting in the permanent closure of the restaurant four days later. As of this writing, this is the fifth most-read post in the history of Seventh State measured by page views.

  1. MoCo Democrats Issue Statement on Ballot Questions

This post reprinted the Montgomery County Democratic Party’s statement on the four ballot questions. It was originally published on September 17 and initially attracted little site traffic. But it started to pop in early and mid-October and dominated page views in the latter part of the month. Most of the traffic was generated by Google searches. This provided valuable intel: thousands of people were seeking out what the Democratic Party had to say about a group of arcane and confusing ballot questions. And if they were coming to Seventh State, they were no doubt also visiting other sites with similar information like news outlets and the party’s own site. In the end, it seems likely that the party was the dominant force in driving voter reaction to the ballot questions as its positions carried the election by double digits. It was also a huge boon to us as this post ranks third in page views in the history of Seventh State.

On to 2021!


Top Seventh State Stories, November 2020

By Adam Pagnucco.

These were the top stories on Seventh State in November ranked by page views.

1. Will MCPS Reopen?
2. MoCo Democrats Issue Statement on Ballot Questions
3. MCPS Reopening Looks More Unlikely
4. Who Has the Edge in the At-Large School Board Race?
5. Elrich Extends Response Deadline for Public Information Act Requests
6. Council Drops the Other Purple Penny
7. Sitting Judges Get Temporary Restraining Order Against Pierre
8. Does Downcounty Pick the At-Large Council Members?
9. Scandal: County Employees Got COVID Pay They Were Not Entitled to Get
10. Winners and Losers of the Ballot Question War

Three of these stories were leftovers from the election and dominated the first week. Of the rest, two of the top three relate to whether and how MCPS will reopen – a huge issue that has yet to be resolved. Parents may disagree on exactly what MCPS should do, but all of us (I’m one of them!) are intensely interested in the outcome.


Why on Earth Do We Elect Judges?

By Adam Pagnucco.

In the wake of the nastiest MoCo circuit court judge election in recent memory, one question lingers.

Why on Earth do we elect judges in Maryland?

In considering that question, let’s note that Maryland is totally inconsistent in how judges are selected. Appellate court judges are nominated by the governor, confirmed by the state senate and subject to retention elections. Circuit court judges are appointed by the governor and run for election after a year. Their elections have partisan primaries and non-partisan generals. Orphan’s court judges run in partisan elections. District court judges are nominated by the governor, confirmed by the state senate and do not run in elections. Nominating commissions make recommendations to the governor on appellate, circuit court and district court judges.

Circuit court elections are normally sleepy affairs in which sitting judges, who go through a vetting process and are appointed by the governor, are confirmed by voters. But not this year, when circuit court challengers were able to break through to the general election in both Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties. Suddenly, non-elections turned into real elections. And in MoCo, it wasn’t pretty.

The campaign pitting challenger Marylin Pierre against the four appointed sitting judges had all the nastiness of MoCo’s most negative political campaigns. Charges of racism, lying, dirty tricks and more were hurled back and forth with little regard for the dignity of the bench. Let’s remember that these are supposed to be JUDGES, not politicians. These are the people who decide civil cases, who decide child custody, who rule on domestic violence and who sentence us to fines, jail or both. In many ways, judges are more important to our daily life than elected officials. They should be expected to adhere to a higher standard than the mud splattering practices of politics. But how much incentive do they have to do so when their jobs depend on elections?

Both sides had legitimate issues with the electoral process we just witnessed. The sitting judges emphasize the rigor of their vetting process and want voters to respect it. Here is how the sitting judges slate described it:

The process started with a lengthy and comprehensive application covering all aspects of their education, breadth and depth of law practice, and personal background. Each judge’s application was submitted to no fewer than twelve diverse bar associations, each of which conducted its own investigation and interviews. In addition, the Bar Association of Montgomery County conducted a referendum wherein each applicant’s qualifications were subjected to a vote by every member of the bar association. The results of both the referendum and the specialty bar association interviews were provided to the Judicial Nominating Commission. The Commission then conducted its own independent investigation of all applicants and thoroughly vetted and interviewed each. A list of the most highly qualified candidates was sent by the Commission to the Governor, who interviewed and appointed the best of the best.

Folks, readers of this blog do their homework in figuring out which candidates to support. But individual voters don’t have the tools to replicate this painstaking process. Instead, we are left to assess judicial candidates as we do politicians when in fact their work is fundamentally different.

That leads us to another problem: state law does not give judicial candidates the same latitude for making public statements that other candidates enjoy. MD Judges, Rule 18-104.4 states that judicial candidates “with respect to a case, controversy, or issue that is likely to come before the court, shall not make a commitment, pledge, or promise that is inconsistent with the impartial performance of the adjudicative duties of the office” and “shall not make any statement that would reasonably be expected to affect the outcome or impair the fairness of a matter pending or impending in any court.” Assuming candidates respect these rules, how are voters supposed to divine their positions?

That’s not all. Pierre’s supporters will be quick to point out how tilted the playing field was against her, especially in fundraising. In 2019 and 2020, Pierre raised a grand total of $18,849. In those same two years, the sitting judges’ slate account raised $445,113. In fact, the slate account dates back to 2001 and is periodically updated to include whichever sitting judges are on the ballot. Its contributions read like a who’s-who list of the MoCo legal industry – the very people who will be litigating cases in front of the judges to whom they are donating. Some may be inclined to defend this system as a meritocracy, but once the political contributions start flowing, it bears more than a passing resemblance to an oligarchy.

Oligarchies have drawbacks, but what happens when they lose? A cautionary tale comes from Anne Arundel County in 2004, when Republican lawyer Paul Goetzke was one of two challengers to knock out sitting judges, producing an all-white bench for the first time in a decade. Goetzke blasted the incumbents because they were appointed by Democratic Governor Parris Glendening, ran on a tough-on-crime platform and said he wanted “criminals rehabilitated in jail, not in their neighborhoods.” Within a year, lawyers around the state supported censuring Goetze for “unconscionable” and “intimidating” actions against defense lawyers. In 2017, a state investigator “found Goetzke violated judicial standards on impartiality and fairness, bias, prejudice and harassment and decorum, demeanor and communications with jurors, among others.” Goetzke retired for medical reasons six months later.

Goetzke is no anomaly. Judicial elections often attract strange characters. Retired Circuit Court Judge Steven I. Platt, who was a judge in Maryland for almost 30 years, had many stories to share in his 2014 essay calling for an end to judicial elections. Judge Platt wrote:

During the years from 1970 to 2014 while I have participated in and observed contested judicial campaigns, I have never seen any of the qualities which are desirable in a judge discussed as an issue in any contested campaign by a challenger. Instead I have witnessed the following issues being raised in campaigns for “Orphans Court” (Probate Court)—(1) “Whether a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) could do more for orphans than those lawyers.” (2) “Whether orphans who commit crimes should go to jail.” (3) “The skyrocketing rates of intestacy” (4) “The Orphans Court Judges positions on abortion and (5) Whether as a candidate for reelection to the Orphans Court I would take an orphan away from a “parent” who spanked the orphan and/or do I spank my own children?

As a candidate for a 15 year term on the Circuit Court I was asked many questions. My favorite came from a lady who identified herself as a “concerned citizen”. She wanted to know “whether the Sitting Judges favored ‘condoms in the schools’ and/or ‘prayer’ in the schools.” The answer I wanted to give was “We favor one or the other but not both”. I did however resist that temptation.

My point is very simple. It is that even though the history and examples cited are anecdotal, they illustrate that at best judicial contested elections distract and at worst they destroy the effort to secure a diverse and qualified judiciary.

The above evidence indicates that circuit court judge elections are vulnerable to low or no voter information, domination by oligarchy, negative politics, muzzling of candidates and unpredictable consequences depending on who wins. (Let’s bear in mind that circuit court judges serve 15-year terms, far longer than most politicians). Compared to elections befouled by these sorts of flaws, the vetting process is a better option. Let judicial nominees be vetted by their peers, nominated by the governor and confirmed by state senators, who can reject any who are truly out of bounds. If necessary, judicial terms may be shortened and retention elections can be used to weed out judges who go rogue after appointment. Whatever is done, the current election system is broken and must be terminated for this reason:

If we treat judges like politicians, don’t be surprised if they act like them.


How Many More Votes Will be Counted?

By Adam Pagnucco.

As of right now, here is the status of key election results in MoCo.

School Board At-Large: Lynne Harris 53%, Sunil Dasgupta 46%

School Board District 2: Rebecca Smondrowski 60%, Michael Fryar 39%

School Board District 4: Shebra Evans 66%, Steve Solomon 33%

Circuit Court Judge: Bibi Berry 23%, David Boynton 21%, Michael McAuliffe 21%, Christopher Fogleman 20%, Marylin Pierre 14%

Question A (Authored by Council Member Andrew Friedson, freezes property tax rate with unanimous council vote required to exceed): For 62%, Against 38%

Question B (Authored by Robin Ficker, would limit property tax receipt growth to rate of inflation and remove council’s ability to exceed): For 42%, Against 58%

Question C (Authored by Council Member Evan Glass, changes county council structure to 4 at-large seats and 7 district seats): For 61%, Against 39%

Question D (Authored by Nine Districts for MoCo, changes county council structure to 9 district seats): For 42%, Against 58%

You can see the latest results here for school board and judicial races and here for ballot questions.

But all of this is subject to a HUGE caveat: not all the votes have been counted. How many more remain?

Three batches have yet to be counted. First are the remaining election day votes. As of right now, only 3 of 40 election day vote centers in the county have reported 80% or more of their results. At this moment, 6,474 election day votes have been cast for president. That suggests tens of thousands of votes more could come in.

Second are the remaining mail votes. According to the State Board of Elections, MoCo voters requested 378,327 mail ballots. At this moment, 177,628 mail votes have been cast for president. This suggests that roughly 200,000 mail votes are out there. Not all of them will ultimately result in tabulated votes but it’s still a lot.

Third are provisional ballots. How many are out there is not known right now. However, this will be by far the smallest of these three categories and they will make a difference only in tight races.

So let’s put it all together. At this moment, 312,452 total votes for president have been tabulated. (I don’t have an official turnout number, but since the presidential race has the least undervoting, this figure is probably reasonably close to turnout so far.) This suggests – VERY roughly – that 55-60% of the votes have been counted, with the vast majority of outstanding votes coming from mail ballots.

What does that mean for the results above? To determine that, we need to examine how different the election day votes and the mail votes were from the total votes tabulated so far since those two categories are where most of the remaining votes are coming from. And of those two categories, mail votes will be far larger than election day votes.


MoCo’s votes for president (as well as Congress) are not in doubt but the differential results by voting mode are suggestive of a pattern affecting other races. Former Vice-President Joe Biden has received 79% of total votes as of this moment. However, he has received 51% of election day votes, 65% of early votes and 90% of mail votes. That illustrates a strong partisan pattern associated with voting, with election day votes most friendly to Republicans and mail votes most friendly to Democrats. Keep that in mind as you proceed to the races below.

Circuit Court Judges

Challenger Marylin Pierre has so far received 14% of early votes, 14% of election day votes, 15% of mail votes and 14% of total votes. Each of the incumbent judges cleared 20% on all of these voting modes. This is a non-partisan race so the partisan pattern noted above has minimal effect here. With little reason to believe that the next batch of mail votes will be different than the mail votes already tabulated, it’s hard to see Pierre pulling ahead.

School Board

The district races are blowouts. Let’s look at the at-large race between Lynne Harris and Sunil Dasgupta. Harris has so far received 53% of early votes, 60% of election day votes, 53% of mail votes and 53% of total votes. These are not big leads but they are fairly consistent. For Dasgupta to pull ahead, he would need to pull at least 55% of the outstanding votes yet to be counted, more than flipping the outcome of the existing votes. Unless the next batch of votes – especially mail – is somehow fundamentally different from what has already been cast, it’s hard to see that happening.

Ballot Questions

There are two things to note here. First, none of these results are close at this moment. Second, while these are technically non-partisan, the Democratic Party and the Republican Party endorsed in opposite directions and both sides worked hard to make their views known. The partisan split seen in the presidential election had an impact on the ballot question results.

First, let’s look at election day voting. Judging by the presidential race, this was the most favorable voting mode for the GOP. Here is how election day voting (so far!) compares to total voting (again, so far).

Question A For Votes: Election day 51%, total 62%
Question B For Votes: Election day 60%, total 42%
Question C For Votes: Election day 52%, total 61%
Question D For Votes: Election day 60%, total 42%

This looks like good news for supporters of Question B (Robin Ficker’s anti-tax question) and Question D (nine districts). After all, there are probably tens of thousands of election day votes yet to be counted.

However, the big majority of outstanding votes are mail ballots. Joe Biden received 90% of mail ballot votes tabulated so far, a sign that Democrats dominated this voting mode. Here is what the mail votes (so far) look like.

Question A For Votes: Mail 68%, total 62%
Question B For Votes: Mail 34%, total 42%
Question C For Votes: Mail 65%, total 61%
Question D For Votes: Mail 33%, total 42%

The mail votes uphold the winning margins of Questions A and C and depress the results for Questions B and D. That’s not a surprise if 1. Democrats voted disproportionately by mail and 2. Democrats stuck with their party’s position on the ballot questions. Indeed, we know here at Seventh State that this post on the Democrats’ statement on the ballot questions got huge site traffic.

As a matter of fact, one could even go so far as to say that once the ballot questions turned partisan, it may have been the beginning of the end.

Plenty of votes remain to be counted so let’s respect that. We may know a lot more by the weekend.


Top Seventh State Stories, October 2020

By Adam Pagnucco.

These were the top stories on Seventh State in October ranked by page views.

1. MoCo Democrats Issue Statement on Ballot Questions
2. Sitting Judges Get Temporary Restraining Order Against Pierre
3. Harris Blasts MCEA Over School Reopening
4. Progressive-Backed Judge Candidate Courted, Donated to Republicans
5. Teachers Respond to Lynne Harris
6. Elrich Vetoes WMATA Property Tax Bill
7. State Audit: Thousands of MoCo Homeowners Overcharged on Property Taxes
8. Reopening Plans – MCPS is Behind
9. Why Montgomery County Ballot Questions B and D Are Truly Bad Ideas You Should Vote Against
10. Ballot Question Committee Scorecard

The number one post by far was MoCo Democrats Issue Statement on Ballot Questions. In fact, that post was one of the most well-read in the history of Seventh State. Most folks who saw it probably found it through Google – and that’s a meaningful piece of intelligence. If people are googling terms like Montgomery Democrats and ballot questions, then not only are they finding content here, they may find similar content at Bethesda Beat, the Democratic Central Committee’s website, the various ballot issue websites and elsewhere. This means that MoCo voters want to know what the county Democrats think about the ballot questions. That’s good news for supporters of Questions A and C and not such good news for supporters of Questions B and D.

The two posts about circuit court judge candidate Marylin Pierre and her opponents, the sitting judges, are being aggressively circulated on social media. This is the fiercest MoCo judicial race in a loooooong time. Can Pierre break through?

One story that was big with readers and off the radar of politicians was State Audit: Thousands of MoCo Homeowners Overcharged on Property Taxes. It’s a massive scandal that state math errors resulted in overcharging of property taxes for thousands of MoCo homeowners and that the state is refusing to offer refunds. In addition to Seventh State, Fox 5 and WMAR (ABC) Baltimore covered it. As far as I know, no state or county politician has made a public statement about this. Maybe I will ask them!


Pierre Responds to Sitting Judges

By Adam Pagnucco.

Yesterday, the sitting judges slate filed for and were granted a temporary restraining order against the campaign of their opponent, Marylin Pierre, after they alleged that one of her volunteers inaccurately told voters that she was a judge. Pierre sent us the following response.


Mr. Pagnucco,

Thank you for the opportunity to respond to the allegation.

Let me be clear, I have never referred to myself as an incumbent judge at any time during this campaign or during my previous campaign. I am proudly a candidate for Circuit Court judge in Montgomery County and have endeavored to conduct this campaign with the highest standards of professionalism and civility appropriate to the office.

Instead of engaging voters on the issues that I have raised during this campaign, my opponents have resorted to uncivil personal attacks and frivolous legal intimidation tactics to try and win the race. This allegation and their social media and television ads seek to damage my reputation and call into question my professional experience and service to the bar and our community.

The other candidates made a choice. They could have reached out to my campaign to let us know a volunteer misspoke. Instead, they are using litigation to harass & intimidate while wasting taxpayer money.

Montgomery County deserves judges who will do what is best for our community, use the taxpayer’s resources wisely, and show dignity and respect for all.

While my opponents continually attempt to smear me and my 30 years of experience, I know who I am. I am a dedicated lawyer, a former military police officer in the United States Army, a former chair of the Montgomery County Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission, a winner of the Leadership in Law Award, a three-time winner of Maryland’s Top100 Women Award, and a winner of numerous other community service and pro bono awards.

I am the only candidate endorsed by Progressive Maryland, Progressive Neighbors, Progressive Legacy, NARAL Pro-Choice Maryland PAC, the Association of Black Democrats of Montgomery County, Our Revolution Maryland, Our Revolution MoCo, MoCo Students for Change, the Montgomery County Green Party (MD), and Mayor Jeffrey Slavin.

I am a progressive and compassionate candidate for judge.


Sitting Judges Get Temporary Restraining Order Against Pierre

By Adam Pagnucco.

Here’s something you don’t see every day in MoCo: a group of candidates obtaining a temporary restraining order against an opponent. As strange as that might be, the details are even stranger.

The incident that gave rise to the temporary restraining order occurred on Monday, October 26. According to a complaint filed in circuit court, sitting judge and candidate Bibi Berry and one of her volunteers encountered a volunteer for Marylin Pierre, who is running against the sitting judge slate, at the Silver Spring Civic Building. The civic building is an early voting location and Monday was the first day of early voting. Berry and her volunteer allegedly heard Pierre’s volunteer tell voters that Pierre was “the only progressive judge on the ballot.” Berry then claims to have corrected Pierre’s volunteer, telling voters (accurately) that Pierre is not a judge. According to the complaint, Pierre’s volunteer “continued to repeat the same phrase to prospective voters, ‘Ms. Pierre is the only progressive judge on the ballot’ louder and with greater conviction.” The sitting judges then filed for a temporary restraining order against Pierre’s campaign prohibiting her and her surrogates from referring to her as a judge. Judge Julia Augusta Martz-Fisher granted the temporary restraining order today.

This is the third strange incident involving Pierre that has been reported on Seventh State. The first occurred when Pierre tweeted that the defendants accused of killing George Floyd in Minnesota should be locked up with the burden of proof placed on them to show their innocence, a clear departure from basic criminal law. Pierre blamed the tweet on a volunteer. The second incident occurred when the former chair of the county Republican Party alleged that Pierre told GOP leaders in 2018 “she would be a ‘law and order’ judge who would be tough on bail.” Pierre is running as a progressive this year. Pierre admitted to attending GOP events and to contributing to the GOP but did not specifically address the allegations about what she said to party leaders.

Appearing below are the excerpt from the sitting judges’ online case file (accessible here) showing the issuance of the temporary restraining order as well as both the motion for temporary restraining order and the complaint filed by the sitting judges.


Top Seventh State Stories, September 2020

By Adam Pagnucco.

These were the top stories on Seventh State in September ranked by page views.

1. Free-For-All
2. Why Montgomery County Ballot Questions B and D Are Truly Bad Ideas You Should Vote Against
3. Harris Blasts MCEA Over School Reopening
4. Harris Apologizes for Comments on School Reopening
5. Progressive-Backed Judge Candidate Courted, Donated to Republicans
6. Changing the Reopening Timeline: A Recipe for Confusion and Anxiety
7. Ballot Question Committee Scorecard
8. Post Editorial: Vote Against All Charter Amendments
9. Judge Candidate on Floyd Cops: “Lock Em Up”
10. Why Progressives Should Support the Friedson Amendment

Free-For-All, which called into question the county’s strategy for dealing with the police department, was the runaway leader this month. That suggests that there is considerable unease about the county’s approach to MCPD which goes far beyond the groups the county hears from regularly. School board candidate Lynne Harris’s criticism of MCEA, for which she later apologized, produced a flood of site traffic. The two posts about circuit court judge candidate Marylin Pierre were circulated by her opponents on the sitting judge slate. The rest of the posts were mostly about MoCo’s charter amendments, on which voting has already begun.


Pierre Responds to Bush

By Adam Pagnucco.

Circuit court judge candidate Marylin Pierre, who is backed by a number of progressive groups, has responded to an article by former county GOP chairman Alexander A. Bush describing her efforts to court Republicans. Pierre’s response appears below.


Thank you, Mr. Pagnucco, for the opportunity to comment on this article. I am proud to be a candidate for judge in the Montgomery County Circuit Court in the 2020 Presidential election. As you know, the election for Judge of the Circuit Court is non-partisan, and I have and will, continue to seek the support of all voters — Democrats, Republicans, third-party voters, and independents.

My conversations with the MCGOP members were about me appearing on the Republican primary ballot. I was reaching out to voters in both parties because I am running for a position where I would appear on both the Republican and the Democratic ballot in the primary. I paid to attend some events that were sponsored by the Republican party. I also paid to attend some events that were sponsored by the Democratic party.

As a United States Army veteran with more than 28 years of legal experience practicing civil and criminal law in Montgomery County, past President of the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association, and former Chair of the Montgomery County Criminal Justice Coordinating Commission, I have been recognized for my work by the Montgomery County Bar Association, the Montgomery County Bar Foundation, the Daily Record, and the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee. Let me be clear, I am committed to excellence, dignity, and justice for members of all parties who would come before me as a judge.