Paul McKibben reports:
Republicans have chosen Warren County Juvenile/Probate Court Judge Michael Powell to run for the late Rachel Hutzel’s seat on the Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals.
Democrats will meet Friday evening to name a candidate to face Powell in the Nov. 6 general election.
Powell defeated six other candidates after three rounds of balloting Thursday.
The candidates were state Rep. Danny Bubp of Brown County, Fairfield Municipal Court Judge Joyce Campbell, Butler County Common Pleas Court Judge Charles Pater, attorney Curt Hartman from Clermont County, Bennett Manning, 12th District Court of Appeals court administrator/magistrate and attorney Tim Evans of Butler County.
Linda Oda, central committee secretary of the Warren County Republican Party, said the seat was created in 1986, and a gentleman’s agreement among eight counties was made that the seat would come from Warren County.
Oda and Warren County GOP central committee chairman Jeff Monroe argued the best chance the GOP has of keeping the seat in Republican hands was to have someone who could draw the most votes.
The field was narrowed to Powell and Bubp after two rounds. In the third and final round, Powell defeated Bubp, 7-5.
Hutzel, 56, a former Warren County prosecutor, died Aug. 25 from cancer. She was elected to the appeals court in 2010. She was the first woman county prosecutor in Warren County and the first woman to serve on the 12th District Court of Appeals.
Bethe Goldenfield, chairwoman of the Warren County Democratic Party, said Democrats have at least one candidate and are reaching out to others. She said attorney Raymond Lembke of Clermont County has asked to be considered.
Oda said the winner of the election will complete Hutzel’s term, which expires in February 2017.
William Young, a retired judge who Hutzel replaced on the court, has taken over her docket. Young was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court.
The deadline for parties and independents to file for the fall ballot is Sept. 17.