Credit: Candidate-submitted photo

This story was updated at 9:30 a.m. on July 20, 2022, to include the latest vote totals

In his quest for a fifth term, Montgomery County State’s Attorney John McCarthy is leading his opponents in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. McCarthy, 70, is facing challengers Tom DeGonia, Bernice Mireku-North and Perry Paylor. There are no Republican candidates.

McCarthy was first elected state’s attorney in 2006, after serving as deputy state’s attorney for 10 years. He was re-elected in 2010, 2014 and 2018. However, this was the first primary since 2006 in which McCarthy faced opposition.

As of Wednesday morning, the vote totals were:

McCarthy: 30,362 (48.46%)

Mireku-North: 13,067 (20.86%)

Paylor: 10,195 (16.27%)

DeGonia: 9,027 (14.41%%)

The vote totals include totals from both early voting and Election Day results from 246 of 258 precincts, according to the State Board of Elections.

Throughout the campaign, McCarthy has pledged to reduce violent crime that has been on the rise in the county recently, including through the recent creation of a gun safety task force. He told Bethesda Beat last month that the task force is made up of prosecutors in his office and is working with the police department to track where the guns are coming from and who is involved.

DeGonia, 51, decided to run this year after briefly considering challenging McCarthy in 2018. He ultimately didn’t due to personal and political considerations. The Rockville attorney was previously an assistant state’s attorney under Doug Gansler, McCarthy’s predecessor. DeGonia proposed creation of a similar gun safety task force during the campaign, and has pledged to diversify the State’s Attorney’s Office and create more alternatives to incarceration if elected.

Mireku-North, 40, worked as a prosecutor in Anne Arundel County before going into private practice in Silver Spring. She also served as co-chair of County Executive Marc Elrich’s Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, which released 87 recommendations in February 2021. During the campaign, she also had promised to diversify the office if elected, and to hire a data analyst to examine how minorities are impacted by prosecution decisions.

Paylor, a 53-year-old deputy state’s attorney in Prince George’s County, promised during the campaign that if he were elected, he would  establish more diversion programs, such as those for first-time drug offenders in which they could complete community service and workforce development as an alternative to incarceration.

Dan Schere can be reached at

Dan Schere

Dan Schere can be reached at