Titus, Oesterreicher advance in Circuit Court judge race

Titus, Oesterreicher advance in Circuit Court judge race
Diane Lakel casts her vote at South Carroll High School on Tuesday, June 26, 2018. (Jen Rynda / Baltimore Sun Media Group)

Sitting Judge Richard Titus took the Republican race for judge of the Circuit Court, while Maria Oesterreicher pulled ahead in the Democratic race Tuesday, June 26, in Maryland’s primary election.

“I am feeling good,” Oesterreicher said once the results had rolled in. “I don’t know that I would quantify it in terms of expectation, but I was hopeful for this result. I think there’s a climate right now that is hungry for change.”


She added, “This is a historic vote in Carroll County, and I’m encouraged by those people who turned out.”

Titus stated, “I am gratified by the support I received and thank all those who voted for me in the primary. I look forward to the general.”

Titus netted 51 percent of the vote in the Republican primary, with George Psoras Jr. at 32 percent and Oesterreicher at 17 percent.

Oesterreicher pulled 51.5 percent of Democratic votes, with Titus at 30.1 percent and Psoras at 18.4 percent.

The three candidates were cross-listed on both the Republican and Democratic ballots. Because the two parties favored different candidates, both move on to the general election.

Looking ahead to the general election, Oesterreicher said: “The message certainly is not going to change. I’m going to get the message out that Carroll County has never had a female Circuit Court judge in 180 years.”

“The nominating process is very political, and it’s important for people to look into the background of the people that are applying,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to educate the voters about my background.”

After spending time out at early voting and during Tuesday’s primary election day, she said, “I’ve never run for office before, and this was an eye-opening experience for me.”

She’s thankful for everyone that engages in the voting process and seeks to learn more about the candidates.

At Mechanicsville Elementary School Tuesday morning, attorney Andy Vance said: “The judges of the Circuit Court is probably the most important for me. ... I practice all around Maryland, and this is probably the strongest bench I’ve ever seen.”

Titus’ former clerk, Katy McNally, came up to Pleasant Valley fire company Tuesday morning from Washington, D.C., to represent him at Tuesday’s primary election.

“I can’t say too many great things about the man,” she said sitting under an umbrella in the parking lot around 2 p.m. “I learned a lot; he is very fair. I wanted to make sure I supported him.”

McNally was posted right next to Union Mills resident and Team Hogan electioneer Jason Sidock.

“The Adelaide folks, Ellin folks, everyone agreed that Judge Titus’ would be the best choice,” Sidock said.


The electioneers might disagree on other choices, he said, but the support for Titus was clear.

Attorney Joe Murtha was supporting Psoras, who is a partner in his firm, outside Manchester Valley High School.

He said those who come out in primaries tend to be dedicated voters who already have an idea of who they want to support.

In Maryland’s circuit courts, when a judge is appointed by the governor, they serve until the next statewide election that occurs at least one year after appointment. They must then stand for election to retain the seat.

Titus was appointed to the bench by Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in 2016 following Judge Michael Galloway’s retirement. The Manchester resident was an attorney for 26 years prior to his judicial appointment.

Oesterreicher served as senior assistant state’s attorney in the Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office for 14 years and is now employed by the Maryland Department of Human Services. She resides in Eldersburg.

Psoras is an attorney with Murtha, Psoras & Lanasa LLC trial lawyers and has practiced as a trial attorney for 31 years. He resides in Hampstead.

Circuit Court judges preside over civil and criminal cases. These tend to be more serious than those heard in the District Court. Appeals to cases first heard in the District Court also occur here.