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Monday, March 3, 2014

Rolle Wants Voters to Decide

George Wenschhof
Scott Rolle
Former Frederick County, Maryland state’s attorney Scott Rolle(R) is running for Frederick County Circuit Court Judge after failing to receive an appointment from Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley(D).
During my interview, neither one of us could remember a Judge being elected in Frederick County.  The last to try was former county commissioner John “Lennie” Thompson, who challenged and lost to Theresa Adams, who was appointed by Governor Robert Ehrlich(R).
Rolle explained to me the judicial nominating process and said he was one of eight who applied to the judicial nominating commission.  The commission consists of 13 members, 10 of whom are appointed by the governor and he believed the Maryland State Bar Association appoints the other 3 members.
Applicants fill out an extensive application and are also interviewed by the commission.  In this case 5 of the 8 names who submitted an application were forwarded to the Governor to interview and make a selection.
Governor Martin O’Malley(D) appointed Earl Bartgis(D) to District Court Judge and Danny O’Connor(D) to Circuit Court Judge in Frederick County. 
Rolle informed me 2 Republicans; Dino Flores and Rick Sandy were among the 5 names forwarded to the Governor and he felt both were extremely well qualified, adding “if either one had been appointed he would not have run”.
When I asked him “Should all Judges be elected?” he said the selection process was political and few Republicans have been appointed Judge by Governor O’Malley.  Rolle went on to say “there was a strong argument for both appointment and election, but allowing voters to decide is best in this case”.
I asked him “why he felt he was a better choice than O’Connor for Circuit Court Judge?” and Rolle responded with his lengthy trial experience.
Scott Rolle served three terms as Frederick County state’s attorney, an elected position, and told me he has a combined 27 years of experience in court trying cases.  Rolle added “along with my military experience, the lessons I learned have taught me respect for the rule of law”.
In response to my question “did he expect to receive the support from the local legal community?” he said he had received lots of thank you comments since filing.  However, Rolle said “I do not believe voters want to see lawyers deciding this election”.
Another question I asked was “if he intended, if elected, to use this position as a stepping stone to another elected position, pointing out his failed run against Representative Roscoe Bartlett in the 2002 Republican primary election”.
He told me his experience is better suited for the court room than legislative politics.  The term for a Judge is 15 years, which Rolle told me would make him 67 years old, which he believed would be the last step in his career.
As I concluded the interview, Scott Rolle reminded me the election of a Circuit Court Judge was a nonpartisan election and that both he and Judge Danny O’Connor will appear on the ballot without political affiliation noted on both the Republican and Democratic primary election ballot on June 24.
If, one candidate wins both primary elections there would be no general election.  Otherwise, the winner will be decided in the general election held on November 4.

Stuart Harvey, election director for Frederick County Board of Elections, in an email, clarified what will happen if one candidate should win both primaries "Even if one candidate for Circuit Court wins both primaries, their name will still appear on the General Election ballot, with a write-in box below it.  This is what happened in 2004 with Judge Adams and Commissioner Thompson.  Since she won both primaries that year, only her name appeared on the Nov. 2004 ballot."
Stay tuned.


Anonymous said...

Scott is the most logical choice. And, his campaign website launched recently. Looks like he is serious. Well done.

Anonymous said...

It's his political nature that drives him to run. not great for a judge. this guy will run for any office he thinks he can win.

Anonymous said...

Notice that he admits that he did not make it through the "commission" even though two other Republicans did make it through. I am sure voters will see through this and vote for someone who actually was found qualified. Scott is running because its a political race, he's a politician, and Frederick County is a Republican County.

Anonymous said...

I agree with some of the other comments. He just wants to do something that gives him attention - thus is television "career."

Anonymous said...

How can an attorney who is an actor, U.S. Army reservist, politician,be committed to another career?
If evaluated as "not qualified to be a Judge" by his peers in 2013, what makes 2014 any different?
O'Connor has the respect, and needs to stay as Judge in Frederick.