Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio
Court News Ohio

Ohioans Choose Municipal Court Candidates for November

A four-way race for the vacant Clinton County Municipal Court judgeship highlighted a relatively quiet primary election night Tuesday for the state’s judiciary.

Unofficial results show Mike Daugherty, a lawyer in solo practice since 2012 who has served as a local prosecutor, public defender, and village solicitor, as the winner of the Republican Party nomination for the post.

The vacancy opened when former Judge Chad Carey won election as the Clinton County Probate and Juvenile Court judge last fall.

With just more than 1,300 votes, Daugherty topped Brian Shidaker, the Wilmington law director, who received 1,202 votes. Following  Shidaker was Judy Gano, a lawyer with experience as a common pleas court magistrate, law director, and local prosecutor; and Richard L. Federle, an attorney who Carey had in the past appointed to hear cases as an acting judge.

Daugherty will face Sharon A. Kornman, who filed as an independent, in the Nov. 3 general election.

In Barberton, recently appointed Municipal Court Judge Jill Flagg Lanzinger won the Republican primary defeating Brian Smith by a nearly two-to-one margin. Lanzinger took office Feb. 19 after being appointed by Gov. John Kasich to takes the place of Judge Todd M. McKenney who was elected as a Summit County Common Pleas Court judge.

She will face Democrat Paul Adamson who defeated Joe Fantozzi, 1,904 to 1,831. Adamson has practiced law for more than 32 years, both civil and criminal, at the local, state, and federal levels.

In other contested races, Canton Municipal Court prosecutor Kristen Donohue Guardado defeated Assistant Summit County Prosecutor Angela Alexander in the Democratic primary for Canton Municipal judge by a 6 percentage point margin. This fall she will face Judge Curt Werren, a Republican, who was appointed to the seat and took office Feb. 6 to fill the vacancy created by the resignation of former Judge Stephen Belden.

In Clark County, Assistant County Prosecutor Daniel Carey took 64 percent of the vote to beat fellow Assistant Prosecutor Brian Driscoll in the Republican primary for Clark County Municipal Court. In the fall, Carey faces incumbent Democrat Judge Eugene Nevius.

In Jefferson County, John Mascio, 49, a private practice attorney since 1992, and municipal court prosecutor since 2005, won the Democratic primary for Steubenville Municipal Court with 61 percent of the vote defeating Gary Repella. Mascio has no November opponent for the seat which has been vacant since August when Dan Spahn retired to become an attorney for the Jefferson County Educational Services Center.

In November, there are currently 56 municipal court judgeships up for election.  If any municipal court judgeships become vacant in the coming months, then additional seats may be up for election.  Several winners of Tuesday’s primary will have no opponent in the fall race while others may face independent candidates who had until May 4 to officially declare their candidacies.