Kasich names Josh Lanzinger to judgeship

He can campaign as Republican incumbent


COLUMBUS — Republican Josh Lanzinger will be able to call himself Toledo Municipal Court Judge Lanzinger on the campaign stump as he runs to hold onto the seat on Nov. 5.

Gov. John Kasich on Wednesday appointed the assistant attorney general from West Toledo to the bench effective Monday to replace Judge Michael Goulding, who was recently appointed to Lucas County Common Pleas Court.

“It will be nice to say to voters, ‘I’m Judge Josh Lanzinger,’ but I’m not counting on it as an advantage,” Mr. Lanzinger said. “I’m running on my qualifications and will continue until Nov. 5 to show I’m the most qualified candidate.”

The son of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith Lanzinger had already captured the county Republican Party’s endorsement in the race. He ran two years ago in an unsuccessful bid to unseat incumbent Judge C. Allen McConnell, a Democrat.

Mr. Lanzinger will square off on Nov. 5 against attorneys Kenneth Phillips, also a Republican, and Gretchen DeBacker, a Democrat, to hold on to the Goulding seat.

“If you look at the makeup of municipal court currently, the voters in the city of Toledo overwhelmingly prefer Republican judges…,” said county Republican Chairman Jon Stainbrook. “It’s going to be a plus that he will have the ability to run with the word ‘judge’ in front of his name and to campaign in his robe for, give or take a few days, the next two months.”

Lucas County Democratic Chairman Ron Rothenbuhler said the party acted early in endorsing its candidate because of this possibility.

“We obviously knew there was the potential for an appointment, but we are prepared for a rigorous campaign to support Gretchen DeBacker as our candidate,” he said.

Ohio judicial candidates appear on the general election ballot without party labels.

“I’ve had over 10 years now of public service,” Mr. Lanzinger said. “I took a hiatus from the practice of law to serve in the U.S. Army with a deployment in Iraq in 2003. For the last nine years, I’ve been working for the state of Ohio and the attorney general’s office, and I’m eager to continue to serve the citizens of Toledo.”

He earned his law degree from the University of Toledo in 1997 and his bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Dayton in 1994.

Contact Jim Provance at: or 614-221-0496.