This year the four judges appointed to the Circuit Court for Montgomery County since the last election will be on the ballot for the primary election on June 24. The ballot does not identify them as judges, but it is vital that the sitting judges who have gone through the rigorous process to be appointed to the Bench be retained in this election.
The two judges of this group who have been serving the longest are the Hon. Nelson W. Rupp, Jr., and Judge Gary Eugene Bair.
Judge Rupp has actually been on the Circuit Court Bench since January 17, 1997, and has previously been approved by the voters as a Judge. He has now been reappointed and must again, under a quirk of the Maryland Constitution, stand for election. Among his many accomplishments as a Judge, Judge Rupp was the driving force behind the establishment of Adult Drug Treatment Court in Montgomery County, a very successful program for alternative sentencing for drug offenders over which Judge Rupp has presided since its inception.
Judge Rupp was previously a judge on the District Court of Maryland for Montgomery County for over three years. This was after a distinguished career as an attorney as both a prosecutor and public defender in Montgomery County. The Judge has deep roots in this County as a graduate of Bethesda-Chevy High School.
Judge Gary Bair has been a distinguished judge on the Circuit Court for Montgomery County since January 2012. He is a graduate of Georgetown University Law Center. Judge Bair had a very successful and varied career as a lawyer, including working as a public defender before joining the office of the Attorney General of the State of Maryland. For that office, he held positions as the Chief of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, and served as head of the Criminal Appeals Division of that office.
He also has the perspective of being in private practice with the firm of Bennett & Bair for eight years prior to being appointed to the Bench. Judge Bair also has long been an Adjunct Professor at the American University law school, and formerly taught at the University of Baltimore School of Law. The Judge also served the public as a past Chair of the Governor’s Commission on the Death Penalty.