Prince George’s politician Ingrid Turner is dropping out of the crowded race for the 4th Congressional District to run instead for a judgeship in the County Circuit Court.
The former county council member did not keep pace with the fundraising of her primary rivals, which includes a former Maryland lieutenant governor, a former Prince George’s County state’s attorney and two sitting state delegates. Turner sat in a distant fifth out of eight candidates in fundraising for much of the election cycle.
The retired naval officer abandoned her congressional bid Monday when she filed for the Circuit Court to fill one of four open seats on the bench. Gov. Larry Hogan (R) appointed three judges Friday to those seats and a sitting judge, Herman C. Dawson, is running for reelection after his 15-year term expired.
In Maryland, all Circuit Court judges must be elected. The governor appointed Dorothy M. Engel, Erik H. Nyce and Karen H. Mason to fill vacancies left open by three retiring judges. All three must run in the open election in 2016.
Turner is defying convention by running against the recent appointees and Dawson in the down-ballot race. Typically, incumbent judges face little to no competition in the election once appointed, but Turner said she is confident that her time and work while in public office will make her a recognizable choice for voters.
Turner, who served in the U.S. Navy’s Judge Advocate General Corps, is running on a platform to bring about judicial reform.
“On the bench, I will be firm but fair,” Turner said in a statement announcing her decision. “I will provide alternatives to incarceration and other paths for individuals to become productive members of society.”