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Letters: Morton ‘most qualified candidate’; Titus asks for vote; Morton deemed voice for justice; No place for partisanship in nonpartisan races; Be ready for delayed results; Feinstein shamed | READER COMMENTARY

Editor’s Note: With early voting beginning Oct. 26, as of today, the Times is no longer accepting endorsement letters for local candidates. We will continue to accept letters regarding the presidential election in general.

Morton ‘most qualified candidate’ for judge

Laura Morton went through the rigorous vetting process and was deemed highly qualified by the Judicial Nominating Commission. She was included on the list of names submitted for consideration for appointment to the bench.

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She clerked for the Honorable Luke K. Burns, Jr. in the Circuit Court for Carroll County. She is the only candidate with decades of actual trial experience representing people in the types of cases most often heard by the Circuit Court. She has lived in Carroll County for 25 years and has provided thousands of hours of free and low cost legal services to those unable to afford an attorney.

Laura Morton has run a nonpartisan campaign, reaching out to voters all across the political spectrum. She has run on her qualifications. Her opponent has run a very partisan campaign. His message in his mailers have been different, in one emphasizing his partisanship and in another being nonpartisan. Laura has used the same mailer to all voters. Her message is simple, she is the most qualified candidate.

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Her opponent has spent a considerable amount of money on his campaign. Laura’s spending has been far less and she has worked very hard to spend as much of her campaign dollars with local businesses.

Her opponent states he is endorsed by the state bar but it is the policy of the state bar to endorse all sitting judges. At the local level, the vote is only on whether or not to endorse him, not a vote on all of the candidates. Even then, several attorneys voted to abstain from the vote.

Laura Morton is an attorney, not a politician. She is running for judge because she believes Carroll County deserves to have the most qualified candidate on the bench. She is also running because she believes that the reappointment of her opponent after he lost the election in 2018 undermines the election process and goes against the will of the people. Carroll County should make their voice heard again and vote for Laura Morton for Circuit Court Judge.

Thomas Terhaar

The author is treasurer for Laura Morton-Coleman for Judge.

Titus asks for vote in judge race

As a sitting judge on the Circuit Court for Carroll County, I have worked hard for local residents. As a candidate to retain my seat on the bench, I write to respectfully ask voters to cast their ballot to keep me on the Court. With three decades of local legal experience – including four as a judge – I am uniquely qualified and have a proven track record as a tough, but fair, judge.

My conservative approach to the job includes applying the law as written, following the Constitution and reaching common sense decisions. This approach has earned me the endorsements of our county bar association, sheriff, state’s attorney, FOP chapter, and legislative delegation along with numerous other citizens. I am humbled by this support from within the local community and would be honored to earn your support.

While the negative campaign attacks undertaken by my opponent and her supporters are regrettable, I refuse to respond in kind. The fact is: I am the only candidate who has twice received the highest rating from the Trial Courts Nominating Commission following its rigorous review process, which strongly confirms my qualifications. More importantly, my opponent knows better. She has appeared in front of me for trials where I always treated her and her clients the same way I do all litigants — with fairness, respect and dignity. For her to suggest otherwise is just dirty politics.

This county has been my home for nearly three decades. I worked here, raised my family here, and remain actively involved in our community that I love. I take seriously my role in holding those who are proven guilty accountable for their crimes. I humbly ask the voters for the opportunity to continue serving as their judge.

Richard R. Titus

Finksburg

The author is running to retain his seat as Circuit Court judge.

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Morton deemed independent voice for justice

It is most important now in the closing days of the election to remember that judges have to be independent voices of the justice system.

Their legal training and prior experiences have prepared them to protect citizens rights in the courtrooms and in all legal matters.

Laura Morton has excelled both in preparation and experience earning her the highest qualification to be our newest Judge. She will serve our county as a distinguished member of the Circuit Court for the next fifteen years.

Citizens elect these judges because it our best protection from politics that would divide us and reduce our rights in a courtroom. We should always remove politics making the county courts non-political and fair to all as intended.

This election please support Laura Morton.

Doug Mathias

Westminster

No place for partisanship in nonpartisan races

We are very politically divided these days — and it is not good for us as a country or a county. We should embrace any opportunity we have to reduce the Republican vs. Democrat battle lines, and get back to rationality, fairness, and common-sense.

Traditionally some elected positions are considered non-partisan. The reason that judges (and school board members) do not run under party labels is because these are supposed to be nonpartisan roles. For judges, the law and the facts are not supposed to be politically oriented.

This is why I am so disappointed in the judgment of Richard Titus (and Marsha Herbert and Donna Sivigny). Each of these candidates for nonpartisan positions have intentionally and flagrantly turned their campaigns into political partisan campaigns. Each of them specifically campaigned on their endorsement by the Carroll County Republic Committee (an organization far more politically right than the county republicans as a whole). Why would a fair-minded nonpartisan person with good judgment choose to overtly pander to the extreme end of either party?

Worse, Titus proudly touts how he is “approved” by the sheriff and the state’s attorney — two other allegedly nonpartisan roles that he, as the judge, is supposed to be a check and balance against. The judge’s role is to be unbiased, untainted, and non-political.

I do not know Titus; I have only one complaint about him, Hebert, Sivigny, the sheriff and the state’s attorney: I am greatly concerned about their decisions to intentionally politicize their nonpartisan roles. Why would you want to appear political, and why would you want to even hint that you have allegiance to a party, much less the party machine?

I was taught that in America, the role of the judge is to protect the citizen against the power of the state (law enforcement and prosecution). Titus seems to be touting his good standing with the branches that he is supposed to hold in check. When you vote, and after, when you see them, remind them that in Carroll County we value good judgment and the appearance of fairness over political pandering.

Randy Linville

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Marriottsville

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Be ready for delayed election results

Be prepared and temper your expectations! We will not hear a concession speech from either major presidential candidate on the night of Nov. 3, or the next morning. Nor will we hear an announced clearly chosen victor on our TVs or radios at that time. We will likely have to wait days or more, probably weeks, before a clear national announcement can be made. And that is if no legal impediments get in the way of determining a fair winner.

Why the delay? First of all, because of the large numbers of absentee (mail-in) ballots that will have to be tabulated. Many millions more than in any previous presidential election. Unlike Maryland, which is already counting mailed-in ballots, most states won’t begin their counts until election day and that process will take time. And because many more Democrats than Republicans are using absentee ballots, the early vote counts (other than Maryland’s) may show leads for Trump that cannot be sustained once all of those mailed-in ballots are counted. So we will probably hear many early claims from Trump that he is the winner, and we will likely see many legal attempts by Trump and the Republican Party to slow and void mailed-in ballots. This could be the major delay in deciding a winner.

This is going to be a unique and drawn out election process due partially to the Covid induced fear of voting at the polls, but also due to the many publicly proclaimed statements by Trump that he will not abide by any vote that he doesn’t win. Expect to see all kinds of shenanigans well into December to disrupt the vote and possibly screw-up the choice of electors by our President and his supporters in Republican run state governments.

If we are lucky it won’t be more than several weeks to conclude. Let’s hope that we never have to experience an election like this again!

David Libershal

Taneytown

Feinstein shamed for showing courtesy

Sen. Feinstein is a Democratic heretic because she showed courtesy to Lindsay Graham by complimenting him on running a fair hearing. Then, she even had the audacity to give him a hug.

Chuck Schumer responded to the uproar that followed by saying, “I’ve had a long and serious talk with Senator Feinstein.” Mansplaining, no doubt. Sen. Feinstein is now too congenial to be a proper Democrat.

Chris Roemer

Finksburg

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