State’s Attorney Rick Fritz (l) with Sheriff Tim Cameron at St. Mary’s Landing fundraiser

Charlotte Hall, MD — St. Mary’s County State’s Attorney Richard “Rick” Fritz, seeking re-election to a fifth term, held a campaign breakfast fundraiser on Sunday, September 28. The well-attended event was held at St. Mary’s Landing in Charlotte Hall. Republican Fritz is being challenged by Democrat A. Shane Mattingly, a Leonardtown attorney.

During remarks, St. Mary’s County Commissioner Daniel Morris (R; 2nd) said of Fritz, for whom he once worked, “He is honorable. He is just. He does this county proud.”

Sheriff Tim Cameron noted that the county’s crime rate is descending. “Rick and I have been a very successful team both in the courtrooms and on the streets for a number of years,” he observed.

Cameron, who is unopposed, noted that Fritz had snagged the endorsement of the Fraternal Order of Police. “Rick is very much a policeman’s prosecutor,” the sheriff said.

Fritz said when he was first elected newspaper articles were trumpeting that St. Mary’s County had one of the highest crime rates. He said during his tenure there has been a 36-percent reduction. He explained, “The reason is that law enforcement works as a very unified team in St. Mary’s County.”

Fritz said his wife “is concerned about going shopping in Charles County and doesn’t want to go shopping in Prince George’s County” for fear of getting mugged. He said that isn’t the case in St. Mary’s.

Fritz underscored his experience, including prosecuting 50 homicide cases. “We have produced one hell of a record of convictions,” Fritz boasted, noting that his staff of prosecutors can all handle homicide cases.

Fritz took a salvo at Mattingly for saying the state’s attorney had not spoken out against domestic violence. Fritz said he had created the first domestic violence unit in the state. The head of that unit, Assistant State’s Attorney Buffy Giddens, was in attendance at the breakfast, as were several other of his prosecutors.

Fritz also noted the opiate addiction problem in the community and pledged to do whatever he can to fight it. “I am prepared to lead the charge on this over the next four years,” he said, adding that he looked forward to breaking up the heroin rings.

Fritz said that the community must come together on the issue. “Walk in your children’s shoes,” he advised and urged citizens to report suspicious activities.

The event was also attended by a number of Democratic candidates and elected officials perhaps indicating the candidate’s bipartisan support.