James Haynes

Now that Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger has won the close Democratic primary race, he faces his first Republican opponent in the general election in 12 years.

Much like Shellenberger’s opponent in the primary, his Republican challenger, James Haynes, said he can bring needed change to the office.

Haynes is a 72-year-old retired lawyer and a former assistant attorney general of Maryland. He said he plans to run an active, thought-provoking campaign.

“The voters of Baltimore County know that Scott was elected in 2006,” Haynes said. “Here we are in 2022. The first question that they need to ask themselves is whether they feel safer now than they did in 2006.”

Haynes said if elected, he will run a non-partisan office. Everyone will receive equal treatment no matter their party affiliation. Haynes calls the bruising Democratic primary that Shellenberger won by 2,100 votes over attorney Robbie Leonard an intramural hair-pulling contest between two factions of the party.

“If you’re looking for something better than that, that is what my campaign will be about,” Haynes said.

Shellenberger did not return a request for comment.

The four-term Democratic incumbent is well liked by Republican officeholders in the county.

Read more (and listen) at WYPR.