The Trial Courts Judicial Nominating Commission for District 12, which comprises Calvert and St. Mary’s counties, met Sept. 26 and pared a list of 10 applicants down to six for the two vacancies on the Calvert County Circuit Court bench. There had originally been 11 candidates on the list but shortly before the commission convened, local attorney and Calvert orphans court judge Theodore P. LaBlanc withdrew his name before the meeting.

An email sent to LeBlanc to learn why he withdrew received no response.

The six names forwarded to the office of Governor Larry Hogan (R) for consideration are Calvert County State’s Attorney Andrew Rappaport (R), Deputy State’s Attorney Jennifer Morton, Prince George’s County-based attorneys Joseph Edward Carey and Justin Joel Sasser, and Prince Frederick-based attorneys Mark Wayne Carmean and Sierra Brooke Mitchell.

“I am excited and humbled the judicial nominating commission chose to forward my name to the governor for consideration for one of the judicial appointments,” said Rappaport, who was elected state’s attorney in 2018. “Congratulations to everyone who made it through.”

“I’m honored I got through,” said Carmean, who told The Calvert Recorder that he applied for a vacancy on the district court bench in 2016 and also earned the recommendation of the commission. “I’m hopeful I’ve done everything I can in my career to have this chance.”

Carey said during a telephone interview that he was lived in Calvert for 21 years and has spent his entire 38-year career as a trial lawyer handling criminal and civil cases.

“It certainly would be a transition,” he said. “I’m familiar with the circuit court and the qualities needed to be a judge. I have plenty of experiences in life and as a professional.”

Carey has also been through the judge candidate vetting process before — in 2005 and 2016 — as he applied for district court vacancies.

“It’s pretty extensive,” Morton said of the vetting process, which she said began with several meetings with bar associations throughout the state. “It’s a good, fair process, one where you are vetted by your colleagues.”

In a statement issued prior to the commission’s Sept. 26 session, Mitchell said, “I was raised here and chose to return to Calvert to practice law and to raise my family. I respect my neighbors. I understand their values, and I believe that one of the best ways I can continue to make an impact on this community is to serve citizens from the bench.”

The six individuals selected by the commission will meet individually with Hogan prior to the announcement of appointments. The meeting dates have yet to be determined.

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