Dem survives scare in primary
Incumbent Shellenberger claims nomination after facing aggressive challenge
Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger has survived an aggressive primary challenge in a race that offered voters contrasting visions of what a top prosecutor’s priorities should be.
Ten days after Election Day, Shellenberger officially prevailed Friday in the Democratic contest between him and Robbie Leonard, a former public defender who is now an attorney in private practice. Vote-counting stretched on for more than a week because of the large number of mail-in ballots cast in Maryland’s primary election.
Leonard, 40, was the first Democrat to go up against Shellenberger, 63, since the incumbent was elected in 2006. Leonard, who is secretary of the Maryland Democratic Party, ran on a progressive platform with the motto, “It’s time for a change.”
After the final results were announced, Shellenberger did not respond to a request for comment, but issued a statement through his campaign. He vowed to “continue to seek the fair administration of justice for and the protection of anyone residing in or visiting Baltimore County.”
“Many different voices made themselves heard throughout the course of this primary election, and I was heartened by the instances when the issues were fairly discussed and debated,” he said.
On election night, it looked like Shellenberger could be unseated after 15 years in office. With in-person and early voting ballots tallied, Leonard held a narrow lead of 860 votes.