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Published: Wednesday, 11/9/2005

Former judge Christiansen on course to return to bench

Former Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge Robert Christiansen appeared late last night to be returning to the bench as a Toledo Municipal Court judge.

With nearly 23 percent of the vote counted, Mr. Christiansen, who served as a common pleas judge for 22 years before stepping down last year to run unsuccessfully for Ohio's 6th District Court of Appeals, was ahead of challengers Samuel Nugent and Dan Pilrose.

The race is to replace Judge Mary Grace Trimboli, who is retiring at the end of the year.

Mr. Nugent is a senior attorney in the Toledo law department; Mr. Pilrose is a Toledo Municipal Court assistant prosecutor.

In other races, Judge Timothy Kuhlman was ahead of Paula Hicks-Hudson to retain the seat to which he was appointed in February.

Judge Kuhlman was a private attorney before his appointment.

He lost three previous attempts to win a judgeship.

Ms. Hicks-Hudson was trying to become the first black woman to win a seat on Toledo Municipal Court.

Early returns had Judge Lynn Schaefer ahead of challenger Lourdes Santiago for the seat vacated by Thomas Osowik, who last year won a judgeship in Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

Judge Schaefer was appointed in March to the fill the vacancy.

Ms. Santiago, a long-time city of Toledo employee, is an attorney in the law department.

Judge Schaefer was a trial referee in Lucas County Domestic Relations Court.

She was appointed to a vacancy in the county's Juvenile Court in 2004 to replace the late Judge Joseph Flores, but lost the election to retain the post to Denise Cubbon.

Municipal Court judges Francis Gorman and C. Allen McConnell were running unopposed.

For Oregon Municipal Court, Jeffery Keller, who former magistrate in Northwood's Mayor's Court, was ahead of three other candidates - Gary Breier, Cherrefe Kadri, and Louis Kovacs - but with only two of 27 precincts reporting.

Maumee Municipal Court Judge Gary Byers ran unopposed.

In Sylvania Municipal Court, Judge M. Scott Ramey was running ahead of James Nusbaum, an attorney and Sylvania Board of Education member, with only 16 of 85 precincts reporting.

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