Incumbent Scott Shellenberger gained ground in the Democratic primary race for Baltimore County state’s attorney as mail-in ballots are tallied, taking a narrow lead Friday over challenger Robbie Leonard.
Mail-in votes counted Thursday and Friday favored Shellenberger, but it’s likely to be days before the race is settled. The canvass of mail-in ballots began statewide Thursday. More than 28,000 still need to be counted in Baltimore County.
County election workers plan to work through the weekend to count ballots, said Andrew Bailey, the elections board’s attorney.
He said they counted about 7,000 ballots Friday and plan to resume at 8 a.m. Saturday.
After early voting and primary day results were tallied Tuesday, Leonard was up by 860 votes. By Friday evening, Shellenberger had a 918-vote lead over Leonard.
Shellenberger is seeking a fifth term and this was his first primary challenge since being elected in 2006. Leonard, a former public defender now in private practice, ran on a progressive platform, while Shellenberger’s campaign signs say “Tough on Crime.”
Leonard said Friday his supporters are eager for updates, but with only a portion of the total ballots processed each day, “it’s hard to make predictions.”
“I’m just trying to live my life, and I’m still a practicing attorney who’s in court every day,” he said.
Shellenberger said he doesn’t want to comment until the results are final.
Maryland Policy & Politics
In the Republican race, James A. Haynes remained ahead of Deborah Hill.
County Council races
In another close race, Democratic County Council candidate Mike Ertel took the lead over Shafiyq Hinton as the ballot-counting continued. They are vying to represent a district covering Overlea, Parkville, Rosedale and Towson.
Before the counting of mail-in ballots, Hinton was edging out Ertel by 15 votes.
But Friday evening, Ertel had a 302-vote lead. Caitlin Klimm-Kellner was in third place in the Democratic contest.
Republican Tony Campbell was unopposed in his primary.
In the race for another council district, state Del. Pat Young remained the front-runner in the Democratic primary for the seat representing Arbutus, Catonsville, Halethorpe, Lansdowne and Woodlawn. Young was ahead of Paul Dongarra by 749 votes. Danielle Nicole Singley was behind Dongarra.
Al Nalley was unopposed in the Republican primary for the district.