Just two months after he was appointed judge in Toledo Municipal Court, endorsed Republican Joshua Lanzinger was elected by voters Tuesday to retain the job.
Judge Lanzinger, 41, defeated Democrat Gretchen DeBacker and Republican Kenneth Phillips — two Toledo lawyers who both came under scrutiny during the election for issues in their pasts.
Vallie Bowman-English, clerk of Toledo Municipal Court since 2004, also easily held onto her job for six more years. A Democrat, she defeated Republican Constantine Stamos by a wide margin.
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Judge Lanzinger was breathing easier Tuesday evening as the votes were counted. He said that since he was named to the municipal bench in September, he’s been working every day, learning a new job, and campaigning in the evening.
“I’m very glad that all the hard work paid off, and I’m honored that the voters have entrusted me to continue in service as Toledo Municipal Court judge,” he said.
A U.S. Army veteran, Judge Lanzinger had worked since 2004 as an assistant Ohio attorney general. The son of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith Lanzinger, he ran two years ago in an unsuccessful bid to unseat incumbent Municipal Court Judge C. Allen McConnell.
In September, Judge Lanzinger was named by Gov. John Kasich to replace Judge Michael Goulding, who had been named to a vacancy on the bench in Lucas County Common Pleas Court created when Judge James Jensen was elected to Ohio’s 6th District Court of Appeals.
Judge Lanzinger, who said he already loves his new position, said it would be “hard to imagine” that the negative news reports that dogged his opponents didn’t have an effect on the election.
Ms. DeBacker, 43, who had the support of a majority of Toledo Bar Association members, was removed from 10 guardianship cases between 2006 and 2011 for failing to file mandatory reports on time. The Lucas County GOP also criticized her role in a family business that left part of a city economic development loan unpaid.
Mr. Phillips, 55, had his law license suspended in Ohio for four years for failing to keep up with continuing legal education requirements. He also was convicted of misdemeanor breaking and entering in Craven County, North Carolina, in 1998 and was found in contempt of court in Licking County Domestic Relations Court in 2001 for falling behind in child-support payments.
Municipal court judges are paid $114,100 a year and their terms are six years.
Ms. Bowman-English, 43, a former assistant Lucas County prosecutor, handily defeated Mr. Stamos, 39, who works in television production. She campaigned on her record of increasing efficiency and technology in the clerk’s office.
The clerk of courts is paid $96,985 a year.
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