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Democratic Central Committee drafts Robert Kersey


The Carroll County Democratic Central Committee has drafted former acting school Superintendent Robert E. Kersey to run for an Orphans Court judgeship.

Mr. Kersey, 69, of Westminster will be the third Democratic candidate on the ticket in the Sept. 13 primary. Four Republicans also are vying for three open seats.

The deadline to file to run for office was July 5, but state law allows political parties to draft enough candidates to fill available slots on the ticket. Today is the deadline to nominate candidates.

The Democrats also were looking for a Circuit Court clerk candidate, Central Committee Chairman L. Gregory Pecoraro said yesterday. Only Republicans filed to run in that contest.

The eight-member Democratic Central Committee voted unanimously to nominate Mr. Kersey for an Orphans Court judgeship, Mr. Pecoraro said. Members also interviewed another man interested in the seat; Mr. Pecoraro did not want to give his name.

Mr. Kersey, an educator for 34 years, said he never has run for political office. He said friends encouraged him to seek the job because he has experience managing people and working with legal documents. He also is well-known in the county, they noted.

Orphans Court judges, working part time, review estates, ensure that wills are properly executed and settle disputes over estates. They will earn $7,500 next year in Carroll.

Mr. Kersey retired from the Board of Education in 1987 after serving one year as acting superintendent of schools. He had been an assistant superintendent for 10 years. He served as acting superintendent after Olin L. Adams Jr. was released early from his contract. R. Edward Shilling was named superintendent in 1987.

Mr. Kersey finished a three-year term this month as president of the Carroll County Arts Council. He is a member of American Legion Post 31 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 467.

The other Democrats running for an Orphans Court seat are John L. Barnes, 67, of Millers and Naomi Benzil, 56. of Westminster.

Three Republicans are seeking re-election -- Walter T. Haines Jr., 72, of Westminster; Albert W. Selby, 74, of Sykesville; and Harrison E. Utz, 64, of Finksburg. Republican Dorothy "Dottie" V. Utz, 66, of Westminster, also is running.

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