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Verdict is in: Titus beats Morton in Carroll County Circuit Court judge race

Judge Richard R. Titus said on Election Day he wasn’t sure how to assess his chances in the race for Carroll County Circuit Court judge, noting, “it’s almost like trying to predict a jury trial.”

But Titus clearly got the verdict he was hoping for from Carroll County voters, accumulating nearly two-thirds of the votes that had been tallied by 11:30 p.m. Tuesday.

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The elected judge said Wednesday he was tired after campaigning and being on his feet for nine days straight. He thanked his voters and family for supporting him throughout the campaign on his website.

“To my campaign supporters, especially all those who placed yard signs and volunteered to work the polls, I am grateful for your friendship,” the site stated. “To the citizens of Carroll County, I look forward to serving you during my term on the bench.”

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Titus had earned 51,748 votes to defeat challenger Laura Morton, who had 27,839. Those results include all ballots cast on Election Day and during the eight-day early voting period as well as the mail-in ballots that had been counted by late Tuesday. Election Director Katherine Berry said some 13,000 mail-in ballots had yet to be counted.

Gov. Larry Hogan appointed Titus to the seat in November 2019 to fill the vacancy of retiring Judge Barry Hughes, which by Maryland law has forced him to run in a nonpartisan election in order to remain on the bench, for a 15-year term.

Titus, who has 30 years of legal experience, was appointed to the court in 2016 before losing a re-election bid to Maria Oesterreicher in 2018. He did far more campaigning this time around and appears to have handily retained his seat.

Morton said in an interview that she was “obviously disappointed in the results” but she’s proud of the campaign she ran. She said she received support from people across the political spectrum.

“This was a unique situation because of the history behind the previous election,” she said.

Morton, who finished second in total votes in the primary behind Titus, had not previously served as a judge, but has tried thousands of cases in many types of the law, including family, criminal and juvenile. She has been an attorney in Carroll County for more than two decades, she said.

Carroll County voters were also asked to vote yes or no for Court of Special Appeals At Large Judge E. Gregory Wells and Court of Special Appeals Judge Kathryn Grill Graef to continue serving in office.

Both will remain in their roles. Wells received 84.9% affirmative votes and Graef got 84.3%.

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