Six lawyers, two of them career criminal prosecutors and one a former judge who lost a previous election, will be considered to replace a judge who retired last summer from the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court bench.

Sixteen people applied, and the Judicial Nominating Commission for the county winnowed the applicants down last week. Gov. Martin O'Malley must appoint someone from the panel's list, though he can also reopen the process to generate a new list.

Whoever is appointed will have a short time on the job before needing to win election next year to keep it, provided the appointment is made before the filing deadline in July for November's election.

And that could be a contested election. In 2004, two judges appointed by Gov. Parris N. Glendening, a Democrat, lost their jobs to Republican opponents in the conservative-leaning county.

After they are appointed, Circuit Court judges must run for a 15-year term.

The General Assembly authorized a 12th Circuit Court judgeship for the county that could start in 2010.

There is no time frame for O'Malley to fill the seat held by Judge Michel E. Loney, said a spokeswoman for the governor.

The candidates are:

* David Shelton Bruce, who was ousted by voters in 2004, but later hired as a Circuit Court master in the county.

* Ronald Howard Jarashow, an attorney in a private civil law practice in Annapolis.

* Laura Sue Kiessling, a deputy Anne Arundel County state's attorney.

* Kenneth Graham Macleay, appointed by Gov. Robert Ehrlich Jr. in 2005 as a Workers Compensation commissioner.

* Charles Jay Muskin, a Circuit Court master in the county.

* Frank Joseph Ragione Sr., an assistant Anne Arundel County state's attorney.

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