Anne Arundel County Sheriff Jim Fredericks maintained the lead Thursday in his bid for re-election, but Democratic challenger Everett Sesker continues to gain ground along with other Democratic candidates in Anne Arundel County as mail-in ballots are counted.
Sesker, a former Prince George’s County Police Department officer who retired as a major in 2012, trailed by just under 6,000 votes to Fredericks as of Thursday. There are still nearly 24,000 mail-in ballots to count, leaving open the possibility for an upset win for the Democrat, who has been favored by twice as many of the mail-in and provisional ballots counted so far.
Sesker has been a regular attendee at the ballot counting sessions at the Anne Arundel County Board of Elections headquarters in Glen Burnie.
“It sounds like an insurmountable task, but it is not,” Sesker said Monday of his bid to overtake Fredericks. “I feel very confident.”
Fredericks, a longtime Anne Arundel County Police lieutenant who unseated former Sheriff Ron Bateman during the 2018 Republican primary, was buoyed by a large Election Day vote share; he led Sesker by more than 18,000 votes. Meantime, Sesker won early voting by a slim margin of only 254 votes.
On top of his mail-in ballot lead, Sesker also gained on Fredericks with an advantage of about 900 more provisional ballots counted for him on Wednesday.
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Despite only spending a quarter of what his Fredericks spent on campaigning after the primary, Sesker is making what appeared to be a blowout into a close race ahead of the Friday deadline to certify elections in Anne Arundel County.
In courthouse races, Democratic Clerk of the Court Scott Poyer pulled ahead of his Republican challenger Terry Gilleland Jr. by over 5,000 votes Thursday. His lead will likely widen with a majority of remaining mail-in ballots favoring Democratic candidates. Gilleland is a former District 32 delegate and the former Anne Arundel Board of Education president.
Democratic State’s Attorney Anne Colt Leitess was unopposed in both the primary and general elections. She’s so far won over 94% of the vote, offset by about 7,800 write-in candidates.
Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Michael E. Malone, the only Circuit Court judge on the ballot, had 98% of the vote so far. He was appointed to the judgeship by Gov. Larry Hogan last year after serving more than six years as a District 32 delegate. After being elected into the position, Circuit Court judges serve 15-year terms but must retire at 70. Malone recently turned 55.
The race to decide the makeup of the Orphans’ Court, three partisan judges who oversee estates, still remains close. The incumbents remain in the lead with more than 80,000 votes each — Democrat Vickie Gipson holds 18% of the vote and Republicans Maureen Carr-York and Nancy Phelps both hold about 17%. The other two Democrats on the ballot, Marc Knapp and David Duba, trail behind with about 16%. Former District 33 Del. Tony McConkey, a Republican, has a 15.4% share of the votes.
Republican Register of Wills Lauren M. Parker, another member of the Orphans’ Court who has held the post since 2006, has a three-percentage-point lead over her Democratic challenger, Erica Griswold. That lead could evaporate with mail-in ballots still being counted, as Griswold has been carrying about twice as many of those votes.
Capital reporter Rebecca Ritzel contributed to this story.