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Carroll County Times
Carroll County News

Republicans Shoemaker, Ellin lone contestants in Carroll County state’s attorney race

The Carroll County state’s attorney’s race will be decided in the primary election in July, with two Republicans and no Democrats vying for the position.

Republicans Haven Shoemaker, a state delegate, and David Ellin, a private practice attorney, will face off in the primary, scheduled for July 19.

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Interim State’s Attorney Alan Culver took over the position from Brian DeLeonardo in June 2021. At that time DeLeonardo was appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan as a Carroll County Circuit Court judge.

The Carroll County State’s Attorney’s Office serves as the chief law enforcement agency in the county, prosecuting all criminal cases ranging from serious traffic violations to murder. According to the Maryland Attorney General’s website, a state’s attorney’s job includes prosecuting crimes and providing legal advice to state agencies.

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Shoemaker is a former county commissioner and a current state delegate representing District 5. His opponent, Ellin, is a medical malpractice attorney who has run a private practice in Carroll County since 2004.

“My standpoint is that the state’s attorney’s position is a vital cog in the public safety machine we have here in Carroll County,” Shoemaker said, adding that if he were to be elected, he would work collaboratively with law enforcement to “keep bad guys off the street.”

Shoemaker said confidence in his ability to serve as state’s attorney is shown through his endorsements by Carroll County Sheriff Jim DeWees, the Carroll County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 20 as well as Culver.

Ellin described his campaign as being built on several pillars, including establishing a veteran’s court in the county, improving the county’s drug treatment court and “giving a voice to domestic violence victims.”

If elected, Ellin said he plans to create a juvenile program that would provide students with an inside look of the courthouse and jail in an effort to inform them about the criminal justice system and potentially interest them in a career or deter them from committing crimes. That plan earned Ellin an endorsement from the county’s teacher’s union.

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Near the end of last year, Ellin filed a complaint with the Maryland Ethics Commission against Shoemaker after the delegate introduced legislation that would prohibit the county state’s attorney from maintaining a private practice. Since then, the Maryland General Assembly passed the bill.

Sen. Justin Ready, a Carroll County Republican, said the bill codifies existing practices, as 21 other counties in the state have similar laws.

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Ellin said he hopes to keep his 12-employee office open, while not actively participating in the practice should he win. He said he believes Shoemaker filed the bill with ulterior motives.

“It’s very obvious to me he did this simply to discourage me from running,” Ellin said, “but it certainly won’t deter me.”


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