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Khoury, Howe elected to Toledo Municipal Court

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    Candidates for two judgeships on Toledo Municipal Court take turns fielding questions on Sept. 27 at the University of Toledo Center for Creative Education. The candidates are, from left, James Anderson, Dale Emch, Joseph Howe, Nicole Khoury, and Hank Schaefer III.

    The Blade/Katie Rausch
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    Nicole Khoury

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    Joseph "Joe" Howe

    THE BLADE/JETTA FRASER
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Nicole Khoury

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Nicole Khoury and Joe Howe won judicial races for seats in Toledo Municipal Court in Tuesday's general election while Maumee Municipal Judge Gary Byers was ousted by challenger Daniel Hazard in his bid for re-election to a fifth term.

Ms. Khoury, a private-practice lawyer and public defender assigned to Maumee and Sylvania municipal courts, defeated Toledo lawyer Dale Emch and Hank Schaefer III, an assistant city prosecutor, in her first attempt at election to office. She collected nearly 52 percent of the vote to take the seat being vacated by Judge Robert Christiansen.

"We have run a beautifully positive campaign," said Ms. Khoury, 40, a registered Republican who ran a nonpartisan campaign. "I am going to bring a different perspective that municipal court hasn't had in a long time. There has not been a public defender and criminal defense lawyer to take the bench in many years.”

Mr. Emch, 53, a former newspaper reporter who worked at The Blade, was running as the endorsed Democrat. Mr. Schaefer, 42, billed himself as a reasonable Republican. Both were first-time candidates for elected office.

In the election for municipal judge of Toledo Housing and Environmental Court, Democrat Joe Howe defeated Toledo lawyer Jim Anderson in a tight race.

Mr. Howe, 46, an assistant city prosecutor in the Housing Court, collected 50.35 percent of the vote to replace Judge C. Allen McConnell, who at 73 is barred by age limits from seeking re-election to the court. Mr. Anderson, 48, the endorsed Republican candidate, worked as Judge McConnell's law clerk and bailiff from 2007 to 2010.

Mr. Hazard, a Maumee lawyer and City Council member, collected nearly 55 percent of the vote to remove Judge Byers from office. He campaigned on the issue that the court needs a new judge and administrator after 24 years under Judge Byers.

Democrat Michael Bonfiglio received nearly 32 percent of the vote to defeat Republicans Daniel Ellis, Anthony Spinazze, Chris McGowan, and John Thebes in the election for a vacancy on the Sylvania Municipal Court bench.

Mr. Bonfiglio, 62, has worked since 2010 as bar counsel for the Toledo Bar Association, investigating and prosecuting lawyers who engage in unethical conduct. Before that, he worked at a civil law firm and,right after law school, as an assistant Lucas County prosecutor.

He will replace Judge M. Scott Ramey, who has held the judgeship since 1988. He is competing his fifth term on the bench and is not seeking re-election.

Louis Kovacs, 57, is a general practice attorney with Gallon, Takacs, Boissoneault & Schaffer Co., received nearly 43 percent of the vote to defeat Clint Wasserman, Scott Winckowski, for Anne Brossia to replace Oregon Municipal Court Judge Jeffery Keller, who isn't seeking re-election after 12 years on the bench.

Municipal court judges are elected in nonpartisan races to six-year terms and are paid $125,850 a year.

Contact Mark Reiter at markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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