LARGO – The 4th District Congressional race was shaken up last week with the withdrawal of two Democratic candidates, former county council member Ingrid Turner and current state Del. Dereck Davis. On Feb. 1, Turner announced her withdrawal from the race. Instead, she will be seeking election as judge in the 7th Circuit Court of […]
LARGO – The 4th District Congressional race was shaken up last week with the withdrawal of two Democratic candidates, former county council member Ingrid Turner and current state Del. Dereck Davis.
On Feb. 1, Turner announced her withdrawal from the race. Instead, she will be seeking election as judge in the 7th Circuit Court of Maryland.
“My life has always been about service and I have always wanted to serve on the bench,” Turner said in a statement. “After careful thought, evaluation and prayer, I believe at this time I can best serve the community as a member of the Circuit Court.”
The Circuit Court hears civil and criminal jury trials, as well as family and juvenile matters (including domestic violence, divorce, custody and child support). The court is also charged with adjudicating appeals of some District Court cases. Turner said a judgeship would also provide the opportunity to work with the newly-established veterans’ treatment courts, which are designed to help veterans with documented mental health and substance abuse problems.
Turner called helping with the veterans’ court her “true passion and true purpose.” She is a 20-year veteran of the U.S. Navy, where she worked with the Judge Advocate General’s Corps, and her father served in the military for 30 years.
On all cases, Turner said she would be “firm, but fair” and vowed to support criminal justice reform.
“I have heard the community loud and clear. Just locking people up and throwing away the key is not the answer. Rehabilitation and services is what many of the citizens in the criminal justice environment need so they can be productive citizens,” she said.
Turner exited a crowded Congressional field, which featured nine total Democratic candidates at the time of her withdrawal, and is entering one with five other candidates who run without party affiliation.
There is evidence that her Congressional campaign might have been floundering, with Federal Election Commission reports showing only $104,579 in cash on hand at the end of 2015, compared to over $370,000 for opponent Delegate Joseline Pena-Melnyk, and more than $525,000 for Glenn Ivey. And for the last two quarters of 2015, she was averaging just $13,631 in total receipts, compared to $144,146 for Pena-Melnyk and $162,716 for Ivey.
Del. Davis, by contrast, seemed to be keeping pace with fundraising (an average of $138,135 for the last two quarters) and cash on hand ($304,932), according to the 2015 year-end reports.
His campaign manager, Jessica Semachko, said Davis’ decision to withdraw, announced on Feb. 2, was due to his responsibilities in the Maryland House of Delegates, where he chairs the Economic Matters Committee.
“With a full slate of critical issues here in Annapolis, job one needs to be the business of Maryland families. He’s first and foremost a legislator,” she said in a statement.
Davis himself implied that the acrimony and partisan divide in the national legislature influenced his decision, stating, “I fear a broken congress will be unable to address those issues and my first priority has always been to ensure that Marylanders have the support and opportunity to prosper and thrive.”
Speaking to The Sentinel in January, he said his number one wish for the 2016 General Assembly session would be for the legislators and governors to put aside their partisan differences and “be grownups.”
Turner’s and Davis’ opponents praised both candidates for their efforts in the race.
“I want to thank Ingrid Turner and Dereck Davis for their contributions to this race,” former Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Glenn Ivey said. “Their campaigns both raised important issues for voters and elevated the conversation on matters of substance. Throughout the campaign we were all reminded of their strong commitment to helping and serving people.”
Anthony Brown, former lieutenant governor and 2014 gubernatorial candidate, commended Turner’s dedication to fighting for schools and students in the county and Davis’ championing of paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage.
“My bid for Congress is about working together to get things done, and I look forward to working with both of them to carry on this important work,” he said.
Maryland’s 4th Congressional District, which includes parts of Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties, is an open seat in 2016 as incumbent Donna Edwards runs for U.S. Senate. The primary election is set for Tuesday, April 26.