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Robert Duckworth to retire in 2018 as Anne Arundel County, Md., Circuit Court Clerk

Feb. 15, 2017: Robert Duckworth has announced that he plans to retire in 2018 as the Anne Arundel County, Md., Circuit Court Clerk after what will then be twenty-four years in the post. Yesterday, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, in his post as the Court Clerk, Duckworth was scheduled to marry his 8,000th couple--his swan song. Duckworth, a Republican, said he doesn't plan to run for re-election in 2018.

Duckworth has been the clerk of the Circuit Court since 1994. He said about 40,000 weddings have been officiated at the Circuit Court Courthouse. Duckworth estimates that he's "touched" about 60,000 peoples; lives when counting the couples and their witnesses. He's officiated at the weddings of former Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening, Democrat, Maryland State House Speaker Michael Busch, Anne Arundel County Democrat, and immigrants from almost every country. He's married young soldiers waiting for deployment and senior citizens finding love again in their seventies. "It's a lot of happiness," Duckworth said.

Duckworth, 76, described his life as a serendipitous journey, where he never imagined himself becoming a county Circuit Court Clerk. He did see himself as a government worker, and he unsuccessfully ran for Congress several times through the years. But in the nearly twenty-five years of being the Court Clerk, Duckworth said he's realized his life's purpose was to work with people. Whether it's finalizing adoptions, giving out business licenses or marrying couples, Duckworth's work affects many people's lives. Yesterday, Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2017, Duckworth planned to wear a tuxedo and give a box of Valentine's candy and a rose to every couple that gets married at the chapel. Marrying the 8,000th couple will be one of his greatest accomplishments, he said. And a day all three will remember.

Attribution: The Capital Gazette

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