1 of 4 open seats for Lucas County court contested


Of the four Lucas County Common Pleas Court judgeships on Tuesday’s ballot, only one race is contested.

Lindsay Navarre, an assistant county prosecutor, and Shelly Kennedy, a staff attorney for Ohio’s 6th District Court of Appeals Judge James Jensen, are vying for the bench now occupied by Judge Ruth Ann Franks. Judge Franks is prohibited from running again due to Ohio’s age restrictions for judges.

Ms. Navarre, 35, of Toledo began working in the prosecutor’s office as an intern during law school at the University of Toledo and was hired after graduation to prosecute criminal cases.

Mrs. Kennedy, 42, of Maumee began her career as a lawyer as Judge Jensen’s staff attorney while he was on the bench in Common Pleas Court and moved with him to the appellate court in 2013. As a staff attorney, she primarily does legal research and writing, although she worked for a time as a magistrate, conducting arraignments and civil protection hearings for Judge Jensen in Common Pleas Court.

Running uncontested in the court’s general division are incumbent Judges Michael Goulding, Dean Mandros, and Gene Zmuda.

Wood County voters also will choose a new Common Pleas Court judge with the retirement of longtime Judge Robert Pollex, who chose not to seek re-election.

Bowling Green City Prosecutor Matthew Reger, 49, and Perrysburg lawyer Steve Long, 52, are running for that spot.

Voters from eight northwest Ohio counties — Erie, Fulton, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams, and Wood — will choose a new judge for Ohio’s 6th District Court of Appeals.

Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Gary Cook and Christine Mayle, a private practice attorney who lives in Perrysburg, are seeking the judgeship that will be vacated by retiring Appellate Judge Stephen Yarbrough.

Judge Mark Pietrykowski is running unopposed to retain his job on the appellate bench.

In Fulton County, Western District Court Judge Jeffrey Robinson is running unopposed for the county’s sole Common Pleas Court judgeship. He will replace Judge James Barber, who is prevented by age restrictions from seeking another term.

All judges serve six-year terms. Common Pleas Court judges currently are paid $127,500 a year, while appellate court judges are paid $138,600 a year.

While the candidates run in partisan primary races, the general election is nonpartisan.

Contact Jennifer Feehan at: jfeehan@theblade.com or 419-213-2134.