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Government & Politics

Court of Appeals Pushes Back Deadline to Withdraw Candidacy, Fill Vacancy for Primary

The Maryland Court of Appeals building. Photo by Bennett Leckrone.

The Maryland Court of Appeals on Monday pushed back the deadlines to withdraw a candidacy and fill a candidate vacancy for the July primary election.

The deadline for someone to withdraw their candidacy for the primary originally expired on April 18 — but the Court of Appeals on Monday extended that deadline to today, April 25, according to an order from the high court.

The deadline to fill a vacancy in candidacy for the primary originally expired on April 20, but that deadline has now been pushed back to Wednesday.

The request to extend the deadlines came from Delegates Brenda J. Thiam (R-Washington) and Wayne A. Hartman (R-Wicomico), as well as Republican voter and Hampstead resident Patricia Shoemaker, who filed one of the unsuccessful challenges against the state legislative map earlier this year.

In asking the court to extend the deadline, David K. Bowersox, an attorney for the challengers, said state election law allows candidates to withdraw “within ten days” after the filing deadline, but the original April 18 deadline meant that candidates had only a few days to withdraw after April 15 filing deadline as opposed to the ten days stipulated in state law.

Bowersox wrote that Thiam, Hartman and Shoemaker “are aware of two individuals filing certificates of candidacy for the House of Delegates between April 12 and April 15, 2022 who would now like to withdraw their certificates of candidacy.”

Jared DeMarinis, the director of candidacy and campaign finance for the State Board of Elections, said two House of Delegates candidates had withdrawn as of 4 p.m. Monday: Jason W. Merritt, a Republican who was filed to run in the same district as House Minority Leader Jason C. Buckel (R-Allegany), and Theresa Kuhns, a Republican who had filed to run in District 27C, where the remaining candidates in the Republican primary for the single-delegate district are Del. Mark N. Fisher (R-Calvert) and business owner Kevin Merillat.

The State Board of Elections website also showed that Republican Tim Cansler withdrew from the District 3 race, leaving Justin Wages the lone filed Republican in the new multi-member district centered around the city of Frederick.

The deadline extension also comes after members of the Montgomery County Democratic Central Committee selected party activist Aaron Kaufman to fill a vacancy late last Tuesday after Del. Alfred C. Carr withdrew his re-election bid hours before the April 15 filing deadline.

The already-delayed primary is still set to take place on July 19. The Court of Appeals previously moved the primary from June 28 to July 19 as challenges to local, state and congressional redistricting plans worked their way through the courts and election workers warned of a high workload.