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Politics is big in these parts, and we’ve got it covered. John Arthur Hutchison and other staff writers will offer their inside information on the events, big news and little moments of the local political scene in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Local interest for upcoming Ohio Supreme Court vacancy?

With the retirement of Ohio Supreme Court Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton slated for year’s end, who might be on tap to replace her on the bench?

It will be up to Gov. John Kasich to appoint a new justice, as Stratton’s term expires in 2014.
The Republican governor recently said he and his staff would evaluate applicants with input from several distinguished legal professionals from across the state.

Kasich said that he will accept applications through Nov. 16 and would like to announce an appointment by the end of the year, but would take whatever time is needed to evaluate candidates for his decision.
Might there be some interest by some local folks?

How about Diane or Tim Grendell? She’s been an 11th District Court of Appeals Court judge since 2000 and has served as a visiting judge for Ohio Supreme Court cases.

Tim Grendell currently sits on the bench as Geauga County Probate/Juvenile Court judge.

He’s no stranger to the appointment process as Kasich appointed him in September 2011 to his current role on the bench.

What about Lake County Common Pleas Court Judges Richard L. Collins Jr., Vincent A. Culotta or Eugene A. Lucci?

Remember Lucci ran for 11th District Court of Appeals in 2010 and was the Republican Party’s nominee after winning a primary against Colleen O’Toole.

It’s settled

Because the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted’s appeal of a lower court’s ruling, there will indeed be in-person absentee voting across the state for the final three days before the Nov. 6 election. Those hours are: Nov. 3, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Nov. 4, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.; and Nov. 5, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Local election officials now at least know what to expect as the case had remained in legal limbo for weeks during the appeals process.

The decision to extend hours during the week and on the final three days will require staffing and time to assist voters with their ballots.

I think it will be interesting to see what that means in terms of lines at elections board offices. Elections officials hope with expanded hours during the weekdays voters who choose to vote an in-person absentee ballot won’t have to wait long because they will have more opportunities.

Will voters go to their respective elections boards on that Sunday? Some elections officials expressed relief that the in-person voting ends at 2 p.m. on that Monday because they will need time to process those voters and make sure that all the poll books reflect that someone already voted.

Candidate event

Soup and crackers lunch with David M. Fiebig, candidate for Lake County commissioner, 11:30 to 1 p.m. Oct. 29 at Surfside Towers Party Room in Eastlake.

Candidate endorsements

For any Nov. 6 candidates who have earned endorsements (not from The News-Herald), feel free to email them or fax them. Because of the volume and space required to list them, these items will not be printed in this column. Instead, they’ll be posted periodically on The News-Herald’s Northern Ohio Politics Blog at

Deadline reminder

The weekly deadline for information to appear in this column is each Wednesday at 5 p.m. Email or fax is preferred.


n Judy Moran, candidate for Lake County commissioner, hosts a Ladies Luncheon with special guest speaker Kathy Purmal, noon to 2:30 p.m. Oct. 21, at Cappelli’s Party Center in Mentor. See Kathy Russo or Shirely Vesel.

n Last Clam Bake for U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette, with proceeds to be given to the campaign of David Joyce, candidate for Ohio’s 14th Congressional District, 6 to 10 p.m. Oct. 26 at the Croatian Lodge in Eastlake. See Nick Ciofani or Liberty Schindel.

John Arthur Hutchison
Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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