The Prince George’s County Board of Elections is looking into allegations that a candidate for Clerk of the Circuit Court and campaign workers for her opponent became embroiled in a confrontation on the first day of early voting.
Election director Alisha Alexander said elections judges at the Upper Marlboro Community Center received complaints after incumbent candidate Marilynn Bland and staffers working for her opponent Sydney Harrison had a confrontation Thursday as the candidates greeted voters.
Alexander said Harrison campaign workers have accused Bland of taking campaign materials from at least one voter and of making false statements about her competitor.
Bland’s camp has accused Harrison of the same thing.
Voters reported witnessing a verbal altercation between Bland and Harrison staffers.
“We just don’t know what’s true,” Alexander said. “It happened outside the polling place so our judges didn’t see it and there are conflicting reports.”
A Maryland-National Capital Park Police officer responded to the complaint and had an “informal talk” with Bland in the parking lot to defuse the tension, said Kira Calm Lewis, a department spokeswoman.
“There was no official report,” Calm Lewis said.
A longtime county politician, the colorful Bland is seeking a second term in what has been a controversial tenure as the top court administrator in Prince George’s. She has faced accusations of assault (they were dropped), arbitrary termination and breeding a toxic work environment.
Harrison is a former Bland employee. He says he will modernize the court’s outdated systems and improve morale. His campaign volunteers are largely made up of other ex-Bland employees.
So far, he has outraised Bland, state election records show.
The primary is June 24.