Candidates start to show up in Harford sheriff, board of ed races

Besides county government and state legislative races this election season, Harford voters will also decide races for sheriff, state's attorney, register of wills and circuit court clerk.

In addition, Circuit Court Judge Yolanda Curtin, who was appointed to the bench last fall, will face an election for a full 15-year term.

With the election filing deadline coming up this Tuesday, a number of candidates have filed in the so-called courthouse races in Harford, but some slots remain empty.

As of Thursday afternoon, Curtin, the first Latino judge to sit on the county Circuit Court after she was sworn in November 2013, was the only judicial candidate to have filed. She could be challenged by any member in good standing of the Harford County Bar Association.

Judicial races are non-partisan and candidates cross file both Democratic and Republican party primary elections to be held on June 24. The winners of each primary square off in the general election, but if the same candidate wins both primaries, he or she would appear alone on the November ballot.

Sheriff's race

In the Sheriff's race, incumbent Sheriff Jesse Bane, who has been in office since 2006, has filed for re-election. Bane is a Democrat and, as of Thursday, did not have a primary election opponent.

John Ryan, a Republican from Darlington, also filed for sheriff. Ryan has been with the Sheriff's Office since 1992, where he worked with the SWAT group.

Jeff Gahler, a Republican who lost to Bane in 2010, has announced his candidacy and has been campaigning. According to the Board of Elections website, however, he had not formally filed his candidacy as of Thursday morning.

State's attorney

Steven Trostle, a Democrat from Joppa, has filed for state's attorney, as has eight-term incumbent Joseph Cassilly, a Republican from Bel Air.

Cassilly has held the county's top prosecutor job since 1982, and is the longest serving local prosecutor in the state.

No other candidates from either party had filed for state's attorney as of Thursday afternoon.

Register of wills, clerk

Derek Hopkins, a Republican, is alone so far in the register of wills race. He won the seat in 2010, following the retirement of the late Harry L.W. Hopkins.

Three-term incumbent James Reilly is the only candidate so far for Clerk of the Circuit Court. Reilly is a Republican.

School board

For the first time in county history, six seats on the Board of Education will be filled by county voters, rather than via appointments by the governor.

The seats correspond to the boundaries of county council districts, and this election is non-partisan, meaning candidates run in both primary elections.

As of Thursday, just six candidates had filed, with none filing so far in council districts A or B.

Former Bel Air High School Principal Joseph Voskuhl filed this week as a candidate in District C, greater Bel Air.

Current board member Nancy Reynolds and Tishan D. Weerasooriya, both residents of Forest Hill, have filed in District D, northern Harford.

Arthur Kaff, of Bel Air, has filed in District E, Aberdeen and Churchville.

Thomas Fitzpatrick, of Havre de Grace, and Joe Fleckenstein, of Abingdon, have filed in District F, Havre de Grace, Riverside and Abingdon.

Like Reynolds, Kaff and Fitzpatrick are sitting board members. All three were appointed to the current seats.

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