There will be no new faces in the Lucas County courthouse as area voters returned two incumbents to office.
Nearly two years after being appointed to the common pleas court bench, Judge Myron Duhart retained the post in his first contested race. He beat challenger Kenneth Phillips and will return to the courthouse as one of 10 judges in the general division.
Judge Duhart, 42, a Democrat, practiced law locally for 14 years before being appointed in 2010 to replace Judge Charles Doneghy, who retired. A graduate of the University of Toledo college of law, Judge Duhart was elected to a six-year term. “I am pleased and elated the voters of Lucas County have validated my appointment,” he said. “I look forward to the opportunity to serve.”
Judge Duhart was opposed by Mr. Phillips, 54, of Toledo.
The Republican newcomer has a law degree from the University of Toledo and has practiced for 25 years in various capacities, including as a state fraud investigator, an assistant prosecutor in central Ohio’s Licking County, and a criminal defense attorney.
Judge Duhart wished the best to his opponent, whom he noted ran “a clean campaign.”
Also returning to his courthouse office is Democrat Clerk of Courts Bernie Quilter, first appointed to the post in 1999. Mr. Quilter, 53, of Oregon beat GOP opponent Constantine Stamos, 38, of Toledo.
“I’m very happy the voters gave me another four years,” Mr. Quilter said.
He said he plans to keep making advancements in technology in the office.
In the last few years, Mr. Quilter has instituted online docketing and is working with judges to create a more “paperless” courthouse by upgrading technology.
“We’re going to move forward with more technology and make changes that will save on the budget,” he said.
A graduate of the University of Toledo, Mr. Quilter said he has also worked to improve collection of unpaid court costs, including contracting with the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.
This has brought thousands of dollars back into the courts’ system, he said.
Running unopposed on the ballot were Lucas County Prosecutor Julia Bates as well as Common Pleas Judges Stacy Cook, Gary Cook, James Bates, and Linda Jennings.
Also running unopposed were Domestic Relations Judge David Lewandowski, Juvenile Court Judge Connie Zemmelman, and Judge James Jensen for the 6th District Court of Appeals.
— Erica Blake