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Q How can voters looking for a judge with a fair and balanced temperament view your trumpeting of your endorsement from police and your disparaging comments about the appointment process as anything other than pandering to a fear-based approach to this election?

Stanalonis: These endorsements are based on a review of our qualifications and our backgrounds. The fact that law enforcement chose to endorse myself as opposed to my opponent is a reflection of the work that we have done in the courtroom and the community.

My opponent said this is not a political process, and [thatís] not being truthful with the voters. The governor appoints the judicial nominating commission. If the governor doesnít like the names [of its nominees for a judgeship], he can send back the names, and disband the commission. If it wasnít a political process, why does the judicial nominating commission meet in secret? Itís not public because it was a political process. It says right in their handbook that they are not allowed to discuss anything they consider or anything that happened. The majority of the commission [members] were Calvert County citizens and attorneys, making a decision for St. Maryís County.

Q In that both you and your opponent are registered Democrats, how has your garnering of support from the Republican Central Committee and the Republican Club of St. Maryís done anything but inject partisanship into what is supposed to be a nonpartisan election?

Stanalonis: The appellate courts have said itís not a nonpartisan election. We have both had the opportunity to speak to the central committee[s] and the club[s]. Theyíre telling the people of St. Maryís County what they have learned though the vetting process.

Our country would be better off if we got rid of the party monikers altogether. There is a percentage of our county [for which] that is the deciding factor on how they vote. I think everyone should try to find out who theyíre voting for, and not just go along with the tags. I donít think we should deceive anybody. I tell every single person that Iím a Democrat. Iím a conservative Democrat.

Q How do you defend lifting and altering quotes from a primary election endorsement of your opponent and including them in an advertisement as supporting your candidacy?

Stanalonis: The editorial had comments about my opponent and myself. I made an advertisement only talking about myself, ... my attributes and my qualifications. It was what The Enterprise said about me. You said it about both of us, but Iím running for office and Iím telling the people about myself. I donít have an obligation to run ads for my opponent. I donít think it was a mischaracterization. I never said I was endorsed. I put what the paper said about my legal career.

Q How would you describe the conduct of you and your coworkers from the stateís attorneyís office in your opponentís courtroom, and his own conduct toward you and your coworkers?

Stanalonis: Iíve only been in his courtroom two times since he was appointed. There are colleagues in my office who have opinions about whatís going on in the courtroom. Itís very concerning when attorneys who have been serving for a long time express concerns from how the cases are being handled in the courtroom and how they are being treated by the judge. It is troubling. Itís my understanding that an attorney in our office was threatened with a grievance action. You should never feel like some actionís going to be taken against you because you are doing your job.