On June 6, a large group of progressive activists and democratic candidates publicly endorsed Claudia Barber for Circuit Court Judge in Anne Arundel County, according to Yasemin Jamison, founder of the Anne Arundel County Indivisible movement.
“We spent most of last summer protesting against the fact that there has never been a woman of color in the Anne Arundel County Circuit Court in over 367 years, even though there have been qualified candidates,” says Jamison. “Right now we have a very qualified candidate in Claudia Barber, and it’s time to vote her in.”
Another long-time supporter of Barber, Leah Frazier, an Asian-American attorney said, “As a litigator, I believe that Claudia Barber is exactly the type of judge we want on the bench. Not only does she have a wealth of experience from her days as an administrative law judge, but she also has an excellent temperament and would treat litigants with the respect they deserve. After hundreds of years, it’s time for a woman of color to finally serve on the bench. An all-white bench does not reflect the community it serves, and sends the message that justice isn’t for all.”
Eve Hurwitz, candidate for District 33 Senate, has also been a strong supporter of Barber’s. “With decades of experience and savvy, Claudia Barber is eminently qualified to be Judge of the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County. As a woman of color with a long list of accomplishments, Claudia brings sorely needed perspective and representation to our county.”
The Maryland primary election is on June 26, with early voting available June 14 through June 21.
The text of the endorsement letter is below.
June 6, 2018
Letter of Endorsement for Claudia Barber for Circuit Court Judge
Democratic lawmakers, candidates and activists join today to endorse Claudia Barber as the most qualified, experienced, and positive judicial candidate running for office for the Maryland Circuit Court.
In 2016, Claudia Barber, an attorney and judge, became the first non-white female to win the non-partisan primary for Circuit Court Judge. For over 365 years, men and women appearing before our County Circuit Courts have faced only white judges with the exception of two African American men who served as judges in that three-century period. With a county that is 25 percent non-white, with 15 percent of that group African American, this is an outrage of justice.
Claudia gained immense support during her campaign, and things were finally set to change. Then, a slate of four judges, two of whom were appointed by Governor Hogan and all four endorsed by Hogan, embarked on a smear campaign in which they spent over $250,000 to win their elections, slander Barber’s career and destroy her chances to win the election.
Even with the barrage of untruths and attacks, Claudia received over 96,000 votes, but did not win the election.
Nevertheless, she persisted and continues to persist, running again for office in the 2018 election to unseat Governor Hogan’s most recent appointment, Judge Mark Crooks, who worked as deputy counsel in his office.
Barber’s credentials, without a doubt, far exceed others who have been appointed and sit on the bench today. Not only will the community benefit from added diversity in our courts, Barber’s experience and background are exceptional:
- Over ten years of judicial experience as an administrative law judge
- Top performance evaluations
- Many decisions affirmed on appeal by highest appellate court
- Over 26 years of legal experience
- Native Marylander
- Past District 4 Director of National Association of Women Judges
- Lifetime member of National Association of Women Judges
- Past president of DC Association of Administrative Law judges
- Member of legislative arm of Anne Arundel NAACP
While Anne Arundel County Democrats have a platform that includes racial equality and civil rights, racism in the courts and elsewhere continues in our county. Anne Arundel County has been especially slow to make headway in the fight against racial bias in the Circuit Court.
As Democrats, it is time we stand behind our values to denounce racism, bigotry, biased political appointments, and cronyism.
The undersigned wholeheartedly and with great honor endorse the Honorable Claudia Barber for Circuit Court Judge.
Democratic Candidates for Office:
- Chrissy Holt, Senate District 30
- Vickie Gipson, Candidate for Orphan’s Court
- Eve Hurwitz, Candidate for Senate, District 33
- Carmen Skarlupka, Candidate for Delegate, District 30B
- Alexandra Novak, Candidate for Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee
- Scott MacMullan, Candidate for Anne Arundel County Council, District 6
- Karen Simpson, Candidate for Delegate, 31B
- Chuck Cook, Candidate for Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee
- Lisa Brannigan Rodvien, Candidate for Anne Arundel County Council, District 6
- Alice Cain, Candidate for Delegate, District 30A
- Mike Rodgers, Candidate for Delegate, District 32
- Laticia Hicks, Board of Education Candidate, District 7
- Brooks Schandelmeier, Candidate for Anne Arundel County Democratic Central Committee
- Cynthia Carter, Former Alderwoman, City of Annapolis
- Monica Lindsey, Connecting the Dots
- Yasemin Jamison, Anne Arundel County Indivisible
- Victoria Bruce, Editor, The Arundel Patriot
- Leah Frazier, Attorney, We Persist, Women of Greater Anne Arundel County
- C.J. Meushaw
- Eric M. Graber
- Debi Jasen
- Amber Gillian, We Persist, Women of Greater Anne Arundel County
- Granville Herndon
- Marguerite Morris, New Beginnings Ministries of the Heart
- Kathy Bain
- C.J. Meushaw
- Jenn Haber
- Monica O’Connor
- Curtis Spencer
- J.C. Henderson
- L.E. Gomez, M.D.
- Laura Day
- Christine Tilden
- Melissa Stanton
- Dawn Lamonica
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