Journey To The Bench.

Do You Know the Judicial Selection & Election Process?

Most of you know that judges are appointed by the Governor, but did you know that the appointment is temporary and that judges must run in the next general election in order to retain their seat? If you did, then you’re ahead of the game, can skip this portion and simply “follow me”, here in this blog, along my journey to retain my seat. If you are shocked to hear such news and want to know more, keep reading to learn about your State’s judicial selection process and why I’ll be needing your help.

The process first begins with a judicial vacancy. A vacancy occurs when a seat on the bench becomes available. Generally, availability occurs when a judge is elevated to a higher court or retires. Once a seat becomes available, an announcement is made for those interested to make application. Thereafter potential candidates file an application and begin the vetting process.

Vetting occurs over the ensuing weeks, wherein each candidate is required to meet with most of the State’s Bar Associations. For me, this included, The Maryland State, Prince George’s County, J. Franklyn Bourne, Monumental City, Women’s, The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender, Maryland Hispanic and Asian Pacific American Bar Associations as well as the Alliance of Black Women Attorneys of Maryland, Inc., The Maryland Association for Justice, Inc. and the Women’s Law Center of Maryland.

At the conclusion of these interviews, each Association provides their report to the Governor’s Commission regarding the candidate’s personal history, education, skill, knowledge, law practice, qualifications, business and civic involvement and general conduct along with their recommendations as to whom they believe to be the most qualified and eligible candidate for judicial office. Each candidate who receives such a recommendation, thereafter receives an interview with the Governor. Following the Governor’s interview and upon advice of his counsel and other trusted advisers, a decision is made as to whom shall fill the vacant seat or seats. Once a decision is made, the Governor himself calls to personally appoint the chosen candidate or candidates.

On the day before Thanksgiving 2018, I was fortunate enough to have received one of those calls. Following a formal swearing-in ceremony (as can be seen here:, I was set to take the bench…..until the next election in November, 2020.

That’s right, while I currently serve the citizens of Prince George’s County as one of the most recent Circuit Court Judges, the appointment fills the vacancy only until I am successful in the next general election. Thereafter, I will be able to retain my seat for the life of that judicial slot.

Here’s where I will be needing your help. As a candidate, I will need your support and of course, your vote in the upcoming election. I have created this blog so that those who may not know me, may get to know of my education, knowledge, skill and and personality and hopefully, like the Governor, find me qualified and deserving of this opportunity to continue to serve my community and, of course, your vote. So I invite you to follow me over the next year and half and see what you think! Of course, it is my hope that I will see you at the polls!

Thanks for reading, don’t forget to click below to share this post and “follow me” here and on your social media sites of choice. Have a great day!

Honorably Yours, ShaRon M. Kelsey

By Authority: Friends of ShaRon M. Grayson Kelsey, Cora Stephens, Treasurer

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