Blue and red text saying "2022 General Election Voters Guide" with an illustration of a hand putting paper into a ballot box


John McCarthy

Where you live: Gaithersburg

Date of Birth: March 3, 1952

Current occupation and employer: State’s attorney for Montgomery County Maryland, 2006-present; associate professor at Montgomery College, paralegal studies program, 1985-present

Political Experience:  Elected state’s attorney: 2006, 2010, 2014, 2018


Twitter:  @McCarthyMoco

Facebook: @McCarthyMoco

Instagram: @McCarthyMoco

Why are you running for this office: I am a career public servant who has served as the state’s attorney for the past 16 years.  During my tenure as state’s attorney, I have established a record of reform and innovation within the Montgomery County State’s Attorney Office. I oversee an office of 170 employees and manage a nearly 20-million-dollar budget. In my 26 years serving as deputy state’s attorney and state’s attorney, I have navigated this office through the sniper crisis, a recession, and a global pandemic. All of those experiences have prepared me to deal with today’s unique challenges. Throughout the nation and within our community, we are currently facing a crisis of faith in the criminal justice system. My vast experience as state’s attorney allows me the opportunity to best serve the community as we address issues of racial fairness, transparency, public safety, increasing gun violence and youth crime in Montgomery County. 

What is the most important issue in this race and what specific plans do you have to address it: There are multiple issues of importance in this race including reducing youth violence, denying access of handguns, particularly ghost guns, to children and convicted felons, and establishing safety in our schools. We must tackle those important issues in a transparent and open manner in order to earn the trust of all members of our community. I am actively working to address issues relating to school safety and violence committed by minors by engaging in a youth violence reduction task force with multiple county partners. Additionally, I work daily with Montgomery County Public Schools officials to ensure a safe learning environment for our children. In the recently concluded legislative session, I worked alongside legislators to pass a bill banning the possession and distribution of ghost guns. I have also established a gun safety task force so that we are better equipped to investigate and more effectively prosecute gun crimes. Finally, I am working with Prosecutorial Performance Indicators to create a forward facing dashboard which will allow us to be more transparent with the community.

What experience political or other do you have to hold this office?  I have been involved in the management of this office as deputy state’s attorney or state’s attorney for the past 26 years. During that time, this office has gained both a state and national reputation as one of the finest county prosecution offices in the nation.  I am a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, the highest honor a trial lawyer can receive in the United States. As a trial attorney and leader within the office, I was instrumental in securing convictions in hundreds of cases. I have been involved in virtually every significant case in Montgomery County for the past 35 years. I have previously been the president of the Montgomery County Bar Association and the Maryland State’s Attorney Association.  I have taught at multiple colleges and universities and internationally on behalf of the U.S. government on issues related to rule of law.  My most recent teaching assignments for the U.S. government were in Russia and the Ukraine. 

Throughout my tenure as state’s attorney, this office has continued to evolve and serve as a model for other offices around the state and the nation. We were the first prosecutor’s office in the nation to independently investigate police use of force matters resulting in death.  We have established specialty courts to include a mental health court and a drug court.  We began a truancy prevention program, an opiate prevention program, an internet safety program, an anti-bullying program, a healthy teen dating program, a hate crime reduction task force, and a gun violence task force. No office in this state comes close to the number of educational and diversionary programs offered by the Montgomery County State’s Attorney Office which I run.