Why we need Doug Arnold as Clerk of the Circuit Court in Anne Arundel County

Like many Marylanders, I took advantage of the opportunity to vote early today. Living in Anne Arundel county, I was able to vote in a number of important races.

While it doesn’t get the attention it deserves, one of those important races was the contested race for Clerk of the Circuit Court of Anne Arundel County. I proudly voted for Doug Arnold, a good and decent man I have known for many years and who will make an excellent Clerk for our circuit court.

As an attorney who often practices in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, I know and appreciate how our clerk’s office has been one of the most efficient and forward thinking in the state.  That is a testament to our long-term Clerk Bob Duckworth and the team he has assembled.  A critical and important part of that team has been Doug Arnold.  Under their leadership, our county’s circuit court has stayed ahead of the curve technologically, leading the way with electronic filing and internet accessibility. While we in the legal profession see the benefits of the good work and leadership Bob, Doug and their team provide every day, the fact is every citizen in our county benefits from the efficient administration of justice in our Circuit Court.

When asked why he wanted to be Clerk of the Circuit Court, Doug Arnold said this,

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At the clerk’s office, where I’ve worked for 27 years, we are passionate about serving our community. Our mission is fair, equitable and accessible justice. Our goal is to ensure that each and every person has access to justice and to the services of the court.

Twenty-seven years ago, I walked into the courthouse for the first time as an employee. I thought I was starting a job, but what I found in the courthouse was a shared passion for justice and service to our community. That passion is why I am running to be the next Clerk of the Court.

As I meet people across Anne Arundel County, I’m often asked what the clerk does, and I love being able to share about the important work of the clerk’s office with the people we serve. We are guided by our mission for fair, equitable and accessible justice and dedicated to serving every person in the county who needs access to the court.

Trust me when I say this isn’t campaign rhetoric, I have seen it on a regular basis over that last 22 years that I have been practicing law in this county.

Doug’s union-backed opponent, however, has painted a misleading portrait of our court and its Clerk’s Office.  Like so many other questionable tactics of Anne Arundel Democrats in this cycle, he has alleged that,

 I also believe the clerk should take a more active role in reducing the backlog of 11,000 unserved arrest warrants in Anne Arundel County. These warrants are written by the judiciary and served by the sheriff, so it is not the job of the clerk and other court officials to serve the warrants. But remaining silent while the backlog of unserved warrants has languished for years has not helped solve the issue.”

There is so much wrong with this accusation. First, the Sheriff in this county has been a democrat for many years. (He tried to switch to the GOP to save his job and failed miserably). I voted for Red Maryland endorsed Jim Fredericks to be our next sheriff and who I believe can deal with the perpetual problem with unserved warrants in our county.

Second, over 90% of those unserved warrants are issued by the District Court of Maryland and not the Circuit Court. This means that no Circuit Court Clerk could make any impact on this issue and has no responsibility for allowing it to continue.  The accusation is nothing but a cynical political ploy by a candidate who lacks the basic qualifications to hold the office and cannot hold a candle to the qualities of Doug Arnold.

I would urge my neighbors in Anne Arundel County to reject these lies and distortions and join me in voting for Doug Arnold, a good and decent man that we can all trust will continue to execute the office of Clerk of the Circuit Court at the high level we have come to expect.

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