From left, Montgomery County Circuit Court judges Carlos Acosta, Theresa Chernosky, Kathleen Dumais and Rachel McGuckian. Credit: File photos

Circuit Court judges Kathleen Dumais, Carlos Acosta, Theresa Chernosky and Rachel McGuckian were elected Tuesday to 15-year terms. 

The four, who ran unopposed, were appointed by Gov. Larry Hogan (R). Under state law, governor-appointed judges must stand for election to a 15-year term in the next election.

Dumais, 64, is from Rockville and has been a Circuit Court judge since December 2021. She represented District 15 in the state legislature from 2003 to 2021 and has practiced law in Montgomery County for more than 30 years in the areas of family law, divorce, custody and domestic violence.

In her answers to questions in Bethesda Beat’s 2022 General Election Voters Guide, Dumais said she has tried to ensure “access to justice and equal and fair treatment for all” throughout the course of her career. 

Acosta, 59, is from Silver Spring and has been a Circuit Court judge in the county since January and a District Court judge for four years, from January 2018 to July 2022. He also served as the inspector general for the Prince George’s County police department from 2012 to 2018. 

In his answers to questions in this year’s voters guide, he said he wanted to ensure that the court system is accessible to everyone, and that the virtual technology that was used by the court during the pandemic continue to be used to help streamline some administrative and procedural hearings.


Chernosky, 52, of Gaithersburg has been a Circuit Court judge since December 2021 and was previously a deputy district public defender and assistant public defender in the county. She also was an assistant public defender in London, Ky., from 1996 to 2001.

In her answers in the voters’ guide, Chernosky said she hopes to restore confidence in the court system and will be fair in her judgments while listening with empathy. She emphasized the importance of effective communication to ensure that when people left the courtroom, they understood the decision even if they didn’t necessarily agree with it. 

McGuckian, 54, of Rockville, has been a Circuit Court judge since January and previously worked as an attorney in private practice for nearly 30 years, representing clients in civil, divorce, custody and criminal appeal cases, according to her responses for the voters guide. 


One of the big focuses of McGuckian’s campaign was ensuring voters are educated “on the significance of electing vetted and qualified judges.”