Baltimore Sun

Dem survives scare in primary

Incumbent Shellenber­ger claims nomination after facing aggressive challenge

- By Alison Knezevich

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.

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