Leonard I. Colodny's plans to blitz the Laurel-College Park area during the final two weeks of his primary campaign for State Senate may be hindered by a civic obligation he's been called for jury duty.
Colodny running as an independent Democrat in the 21st district, which includes Laruel and College Park, against incumbent Arthur Dorman, who is running on the county Democratic organization slate headed by County Executive Winfield M. Kelly Jr. Colodny learned Tuesday that he is to begin two weeks of jury duty on Aug. 28.
He is the second independent DeP-mocreat to be called for jury duty in the final four weeks before the election. William Herndon, a candidate for the House of Delegates, was scheduled to serve from Aug. 14 to Aug. 28. He has received permission to postpone that appearance.
Colodny, who has been out knocking on doors in the Laurel-College Park area, and making speeches almost daily since announcing his candidacy June 10, has filed a request with the Prince George's County jury commissioner's office, requesting a postponement at least until after the primary.
In the meantime, he is less than thrilled with the whole thing.
"I just couldn't believe it when I opened the mail on Tuesday," Colodny said. "Those guys must be in dreamland or something. I guess this creates a conflict right to seek public office but my constitutional duty to serve in a jury.
"I just want to do my duty at a later date."
County Democratic Chairman Lance Billingsley said that the jury selections were purely at random. A suggestion that they were anything else was "preposterous," he said.
"I'm just amazed at the type of pasanoia we've set off in opposition candidates," he said. "Everyone knows jaries are selected through the courts, completely at random."
A person can be exempted from jury duty or have it postponed if he has moved, has a valid doctor's excuse, if he can prove that it will cause hardship or extreme inconvenience or if it is a public necessity.
Colodny said he would seek the postponement on the basis of the last two reasons.
"The odds on this happening to two guys running for office as independents during consecutive two-week periods must be astronomical." Colodny said. "The whole thing is incredible."