Cecil County Democrats Endorse Judges Baynes, Murray for Election
The Cecil County Democrat Club has endorsed two sitting Circuit Court Judgesâ€”Keith Baynes, a Republican, and Jane Cairns Murray, a Democratâ€”in this yearâ€™s elections to retain their seats. The bipartisan endorsement parallels a previous move by the Republican Club of Cecil County.
Wyatt Wallace, president of the Democratsâ€™ group, said the membership voted unanimously to endorse Baynes and Murray at a meeting last week. â€śWe felt the vetting process they went through was so extensive,â€ť he said, that the two incumbents merited the clubâ€™s support. Baynes and Murray were appointed to their seats by Gov. Martin Oâ€™Malley, after they were recommended by a judicial nominating panel.
A third candidate is on the ballot, Del. Michael Smigiel (R-36), who did not go through the vetting process for appointment to a court seat and chose instead to file as an election challenger this year.
Circuit Court judges must run for election to their seats in the first election after their appointment but they run on a non-partisan basis in both the Republican and Democratic primaries.
With two bench seats at stake, the two top vote-getters in each primary would proceed to a general election, with a potential three-way contest if different candidates win in the primaries. But if the same two candidates win in each primary, they would be unopposed in November.
Wallace said the club does not normally endorse candidates in a primary election but the group decided to do so in this case because the judicial election process is nonpartisan and the outcome could be determined in the primaries.
â€śNobody in our club cares at all for the third opponentâ€ť in the race, Wyatt added.
Baynes and Murray have also drawn bipartisan support from donors to their campaign funds and increasingly their yard signs are being seen together throughout the county.
[SEE previous Cecil Times report here: http://ceciltimes.com/2012/01/cecil-county-judges-baynes-murray-are-active-fundraisers-for-election-to-circuit-court/