Joseph Howe, an assistant prosecutor in Toledo Municipal Court, on Thursday became the first candidate to file for one of four Toledo municipal judge seats that will be on the ballot this year.
Mr. Howe filed for the seat to be vacated by Housing Judge C. Allen McConnell, who is barred from seeking re-election by the state’s age limits for judges.
Mr. Howe, an assistant prosecutor in municipal court for the past 10 years, said housing court is “on the front lines of the issues of crime and blight.”
“I have the background and experience to make sure the municipal court is contributing to a better life for Toledo neighborhoods,” he said in a prepared statement.
Mr. Howe is endorsed by the Lucas County Democratic Party. Also having taken out petitions for the housing court seat, though he has not yet filed, is James H. Anderson.
The only candidate who has taken out petitions from the Lucas County Board of Elections to run for Judge Robert Christiansen’s seat is Dale Emch, who was endorsed this week by the Lucas County Democratic Party.
Toledo Municipal Judges Michelle Wagner, a Democrat, and Timothy Kuhlman, a Republican, so far have drawn no opposition. The Democratic Party endorsed Judge Wagner for another term. The Lucas County Republican Party has not yet held endorsement meetings.
In the jurisdiction of Sylvania Municipal Court, six people have taken out petitions, and one of them has filed his petitions, for the seat now held by Judge M. Scott Ramey, a Republican. Judge Ramey, who is 68 and eligible to seek another six-year term, is not running.
Anthony P. Spinazze filed his candidacy with the board of elections March 3. Other candidates who have signaled interest are Michael Bonfiglio, who was endorsed by the Lucas County Democratic Party, Stephen A. Rothschild, Chris McGowan, John Thebes, and Daniel T. Ellis.
In Oregon, two candidates have filed already for the open seat now held by Judge Jeff Keller, a Democrat, who has opted not to seek a third term. Candidates who have filed are Clinton J. Wasserman, who was endorsed by the Lucas County Democratic Party, and Anna M. Brossia. Candidates who have taken out out petitions but not yet filed are Louis S. Kovacs and Scott A. Winckowski.
Maumee Judge Gary Byers, who was endorsed by the Lucas County Democratic Party, has taken out petitions to seek re-election. Daniel G. Hazard also has taken out petitions for the Maumee judicial seat.
The filing deadline in Maumee, Oregon, and Sylvania is Sept. 11. The file deadline for Toledo judgeships is July 14.
Also Thursday, Christiansen said he will not seek another term.
“I’ve decided I’ve been a judge for 37 years and it’s time to do other things and I’m really looking forward to that,” the Republican judge said.
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