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Anyone driving the roads in St. Mary’s County must know that there is an election coming up for judge of the circuit court. Judges are an important part of our government and before making a decision on which candidate I would support, I thought I would do a little research.

I was wondering what kinds of things a judge in circuit court would be dealing with. I found it hard to believe that all they did was run trials and sentence people to jail. I looked up a court docket to see exactly what was going on. This is what I found. Most of the cases, more than 70 percent, didn’t involve criminals. They covered child and elder guardianship, divorce, spousal abuse with restraining orders, child support, disputes over services and money, estates and wills, real estate matters, employment contracts, sales contracts, bankruptcy, personal injury, insurance and other non-criminal matters.

Now, there are a few people I would like to strangle at times, but don’t really expect to do so, so I don’t expect to appear in court as a criminal. I can, however see myself in a dispute over payment for services, or maybe a problem with a real estate contract, or guardianship of a relative, or since I bicycle some and have almost been run over a couple of times, personal injury.

Now I ask myself, who would I like to be sitting as a judge in these cases should I end up in front of one? A judge who has experience in these types of things would most likely understand the circumstances and nuances involved. Situations in life are almost never black and white and fairness, impartiality and experience are important to “get it right.”

Of the two folks running for the judgeship, one clearly has the experience to deal with the multitude of things called for, both criminal and non criminal. The other has a good reputation in handling criminal situations, but no experience in the noncriminal side of the job.

I believe that we need someone with experience in both aspects of the job. I will vote for David Densford. I think that Joe Stanalonis is doing OK where he is and it would be better for all if he continued as he is.

David Kelsey, Hollywood