Kraft ends run for Baltimore circuit judge
Outgoing City Councilman James B. Kraft announced Tuesday he had withdrawn as a candidate for Baltimore Circuit Court judge. He was facing a slate of sitting judges — Shannon E. Avery, Audrey J.S. Carrion, Michael A. DiPietro, Karen Chaya Friedman, Wanda Keyes Heard and Cynthia H. Jones — for one of six seats on the Circuit Court. Kraft had edged out one of the six sitting judges during the Republican primary in April, earning him a spot on the general election ballot. Because judicial elections are nonpartisan, candidates had to place in the top six in either the Democratic or Republican primary to compete in November. Kraft said he dropped out of the November contest because he was disappointed by the tone of the primary election and did not think he could win in the general election. The names on the sample ballots that will be distributed by Democrats throughout Baltimore will “start with Hillary Clinton and end with the sitting judges,” he said. H. Mark Stichel, chairman of the Baltimore City Sitting Judges Committee, said in heavily Democratic Baltimore, substantially more people voted for the six sitting judges who won the Democratic primary than for Kraft in the Republican contest.