Five Incumbent Judges Lose in Municipal Court Election
Voters in 29 Ohio counties yesterday selected municipal court judges.
Of the 58 judicial races on the Nov. 3 ballot, 21 (36 percent) were contested with two or more candidates and 37 (64 percent) were uncontested.
Five incumbent judges lost their bids to retain their seats, including three gubernatorial appointees who were seeking election for the first time, and 11 new judges will take the bench.
Two incumbent judges on the Cleveland Municipal Court opposed each other, as Judge Edward Wade ran for a different seat on the bench and defeated Judge Pauline Tarver – who has served on the court since 2004.
There’s a 19-vote difference in the Conneaut Municipal Court race between Judge Carl DiFranco (1,422 votes) and Charles Lafferty (1,403 votes), which may mean a recount is necessary to determine the official winner.
In five of the judicial races, three or more candidates were on the ballot. Suzan Marie Sweeney topped three other candidates for a seat on the Cleveland Municipal Court. Winners in three-way races were: Judge Laura DiGiacomo in Ashtabula, Michelle Paris in Bedford, Eileen Paley in Franklin County, and Judge Lisa Coates in Stow.
Ohio judges are elected to six-year terms.
With 2015 being an odd-numbered year, municipal court judges were up for election. Next year, elections will be held for the Ohio Supreme Court, appeals courts, common pleas courts, and county courts. Candidates for those races will be asked to submit biographical information and provide answers that may provide an understanding of his or her interest in a particular judicial seat. The information will be available to voters at JudicialVotesCount.org before the March 15, 2016 primary.
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