By David Greisman, email@example.com
3:48 PM EDT, April 4, 2012
Two sitting Howard County Circuit Court judges have kept their seats.
Judges Lenore R. Gelfman and William V. Tucker won both the Democratic and Republican voting Tuesday, primary wins that virtually guarantee that each will also come out victorious in November.
Because judges run without party designation, appearing on both the Democratic and Republican ballots, the top two vote-getters on each ballot move on to the general election. Voters could vote for up to two candidates in each contest.
With all 111 precincts reporting, 79.6 percent of Democratic voters on Tuesday supported Gelfman, followed by 67.8 percent for William V. Tucker. Challenger Clarke F. Ahlers finished a distant third with 29.8 percent of voters checking his name.
On the Republican ballots, 64.9 percent of voters selected Gelfman, and 55.6 percent chose Tucker. Ahlers finished third with 49.5 percent.
If there is no third-party candidate challenge in November, the incumbents will return for 15-year terms.
It won't be a full 15 years for the 62-year-old Gelfman, however, as judges are required to retire at 70. The Columbia resident has served more than 22 years on the bench at the county district and circuit courts, preceded by years as a prosecutor and then an attorney in private practice.
"It goes without saying that it's my honor to serve as a judge in Howard County," Gelfman said Wednesday. "I look forward to continuing to serve with my colleagues and those who come before the court. I'm very proud of the bipartisan support that Judge Tucker and I received. I think it shows a unified county."
Tucker, 50, of Ellicott City, was appointed as a Circuit Court judge in December and had to run in this year's election to retain his seat. Previously, he spent seven years as a Circuit Court master. Before that he spent six years as a prosecutor and six years as a defense attorney, preceded by time as an emergency medical technician and police officer.
Ahlers, 57, of Columbia, is an attorney who primarily practices criminal defense but also handles other cases. Before that, he was a Howard County police officer.