Sheriff’s Race: Janney Defeats Sutton– Again

November 2, 2010

Incumbent Cecil County Sheriff Barry Janney, a Republican, defeated his Democratic challenger Chris Sutton, with 14,900 votes or 52.55 percent, to Sutton’s 13,381, or 47.19 percent.

Throughout the evening, the tally shifted back and forth between the two rivals. But at 10:20 p.m., with 17 of 20 precincts reporting, Janney had 12,547 votes to Sutton’s 11,034. Janney continued to build his lead until all precincts reported shortly thereafter.

Absentee and provisional ballots will be counted later, but the size of the split between the two candidates
is such that past experience in the county indicates the final outcome is unlikely to change.

The general election campaign was the final round of a lengthy battle. Each candidate defeated a crowded field of challengers in their own party primary in September to pave the way for Tuesday’s contest, a re-match of the Janney-Sutton general election faceoff of 2006.

Janney soundly defeated Sutton in their 2006 matchup, garnering 17,081 votes to Sutton’s 11,031—a margin of 6,050 votes.

Sutton has been officially campaigning for a nearly a year and a half but informally never stopped his campaign to unseat Janney since the 2006 election. The campaign has become increasingly bitter, with attacks on Janney’s family—and, earlier, on the family of unsuccessful Democratic candidate Robert “Skip” DeWitt—on social media sites such as For their part, supporters of Janney attacked Sutton and his supporters with equal gusto.

Sutton emphasized rising crime in the county, including murders and drug trafficking and accused Janney of failing to stem the tide of crime. Janney countered that crime in the Sheriff’s Department’s jurisdiction had remained largely steady, and he was not responsible for crime in town police department jurisdictions, such as Elkton. He pointed out that his department solved and apprehended four suspects in one of the most shocking crimes in recent county history: the home invasion robbery-murder of a woman in Chesapeake City.

A key late issue in the campaign was a dispute over whether Sutton would remove deputies assigned to local schools. Sutton wrote on a candidate questionnaire that he might have to remove deputies from the schools if the Board of Education did not pay part of the costs. Janney pledged to keep deputies in the schools to fight drugs and keep schools safe.

Janney and Sutton also squared off in unusual political alliances. Democrat Sutton’s allies in the Fraternal Order of Police, Lodge 2 that represents deputies supported Republican state legislators in the 36th District—Sen. E.J. Pipkin and Del. Michael Smigiel—who unsuccessfully tried to get collective bargaining with binding arbitration on deputies’ pay and benefits through the state legislature this year.

Republican Janney—and the majority Republican county Board of Commissioners—opposed binding arbitration due to the costs an outside arbitrator could mandate on county taxpayers. Janney and the Commissioners supported collective bargaining without binding arbitrations, which was eventually approved by the General Assembly.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Fine Maryland Wines
Proudly made in Cecil County