Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger is taking time off after his reelection effort, but is not stepping away from his role leading the county’s prosecutors, his office said Thursday.
Shellenberger, 63, had decided to take time away to “detach a bit” after ballots were cast, and plans to return to the office the week after next, his office said in a written statement released hours after a news account reported him stepping away, citing exhaustion.
“Mr. Shellenberger is still in consistent contact with the office and is still making the management decisions which are necessary and appropriate for the office to continue to run as successfully as it has for his entire tenure,” the statement said.
Shellenberger faced Robbie Leonard in his first primary challenge since being elected in 2006. After days of ballot-counting, Shellenberger appears on the cusp of winning the Democratic nomination.
County election workers plan to finish counting votes and certify the results on Friday. With 3,000 ballots left to count, Shellenberger has a 1,932-vote lead over Leonard.
Shellenberger sent a message to his supporters through his campaign Thursday afternoon, writing that he was looking forward to the certification of the election results Friday and hopes “to continue to serve as your Baltimore County State’s Attorney.”
The vote count, he wrote, has been “seemingly endless” and “admittedly nerve-wracking.”
After Shellenberger earlier informed his office of his plans, the information, meant for his staff, was shared with the public and in a media report, his office said, indicating it wasn’t his intention to “create rumors or concern among the public.”
The Daily Record reported Thursday morning that Shellenberger had stepped away from the office, citing exhaustion.
Shellenberger has opted against publicly discussing the race since the July 19 primary.
“While the votes are being counted, I have made a conscious decision to remain quiet on social media and not provide comment to the traditional press,” he said in his message to supporters. “When the vote has been certified, I will be prepared to share my thoughts.