Kratovil named to judgeship

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Frank Kratovil visits the Fallston Diner during last year's congressional race, in which he was unseated by Andy Harris.

Gov. Martin O'Malley announced Wednesday the appointment of former Rep. Frank M. Kratovil Jr., who was defeated in his re-election bid in 2010, to a District Court judgeship in Queen Anne's County.

Kratovil, a Democrat, served a single term in Congress after scratching out a narrow victory over then-state Sen. Andrew P. Harris in 2008. Kratovil, 43, whose voting record in Congress was well to the right of the typical Democrat, was nevertheless defeated by Harris in a 2010 rematch as the district swung back to its Republican leanings.

For a time, the state's leading Democrats toyed with the idea of making Harris' 1st District their prime target in redistricting for the 2012 elections, but eventually they settled on a plan that gives the party a better shot at defeating Republican Rep. Roscoe G. Bartlett in the 6th District.

Before winning election to Congress, Kratovil served as state's attorney in Queen Anne's from 2002 to 2009. The 1994 graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law had previously served as a prosecutor in Queen Anne's and Prince George's counties.

Kratovil, who was recommended by the county's judicial nominations committee, replaces Judge John T. Clark III, who retired. District Court judges earn a salary of $127,252.

District Court, which handles such matters as traffic cases and domestic-violence protective orders, is frequently a springboard to appointment to the Circuit Court. Unlike Circuit Court judges, District Court appointees do not have to stand for election.