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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.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lake County judicial races should start to develop soon

Now that Gov. John Kasich has appointed Mark Bartolotta to serve as Lake County Probate Court judge, look for some other developments to shake out involving who might run for other county judicial offices in 2014.

Lake County Assistant Prosecutor John O’Donnell, who was one of four finalists for the Probate Court appointment, quickly pulled candidacy petitions to run for the Lake County Common Pleas Court seat on the bench held by Judge Joe Gibson.

Due to age limits for judges, Gibson is not able to seek re-election, so that leaves an open seat up for grabs.
Look for O’Donnell, a Willowick Republican who also serves as a city councilman, to announce fairly soon that he will run for the judicial position.

Will any other Republicans decide to run for the seat?

On the Democratic side, how about attorney Ron Graham, who ran against Judge Vincent A. Culotta in the 2004 election?

Dennis N. Loconti finished second to Gibson in the 2008 Democratic Party. Would he be interested in another run?

How about Paul Miller? He was a finalist for the recent county Public Defender appointment and ran in the Democratic primary in 2008 for county Juvenile Court judge.

If not for a Common Pleas position, would Miller have any interest in running again for Juvenile Court judge? Judge Karen Lawson, a Republican, also will be on the ballot next year.

So will the seat on the Domestic Relations Court bench held by Judge Colleen A. Falkowski, a Democrat. She was unopposed in 2008.

It’s early, but I’m not hearing of any potential Republican interest for a primary against Bartolotta for Probate Court judge.

By the way, Bartolotta was sworn in Thursday by Culotta during a private ceremony and is scheduled to begin service on the bench on Monday. A public swearing in ceremony is planned Sept. 30 for Bartolotta at the courthouse.

Mentor Prosecutor Lisa Klammer, a Democrat, is said to have interest in running for the Probate Court seat.

Eastlake mayor race set

Eastlake Council President Dennis Morley and incumbent Mayor Ted Andrzejewski were the top two finishers in Tuesday’s mayor primary, so they will now face each other on the Nov. 5 ballot.

Councilwoman Cindy Quinn-Hopkins finished third, meaning she does not advance.

The special election attracted about 19 percent of the city’s registered voters. Election officials said that’s a good turnout for this type of election.

I find it rather disappointing that not even one out of every five voters bothered to take the time to cast a ballot to help determine who should be the city’s top elected official.

Candidate endorsements

Candidates in Lake, Geauga and eastern Cuyahoga counties who appear on the Nov. 5 ballot may send in listings of endorsements they receive for the upcoming election via email, fax or standard mail. They will appear online periodically on The News-Herald’s Northern Ohio Politics blog.


Perry Township Trustee candidate Bob Dawson hosts a meet the candidate picnic from 2 to 4 p.m. Oct. 6 at Perry Township Park.


n Lake County Commissioner Daniel P. Troy hosts Fall Classic Golf Outing and Clam Bake, 12:30 p.m. shotgun start Sept. 27 at Lost Nation Municipal Golf Course in Willoughby. See Kip Molenaar.

n Eric Condon, candidate for Euclid Council Ward 8, hosts Cleveland vs. Buffalo Tailgate Party, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., Oct. 3 at Paradise Island Saloon in Euclid. See Condon.

n Dennis Morley, candidate for Eastlake mayor, hosts Steak Roast Fundraiser, 1 to 4 p.m. Oct. 6 at Boracs Landing in Eastlake. See Donna Vaughn or Dale Bradley.

n State Rep. John Rogers hosts fall clambake, 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Oct. 10 at Mentor Beach Park in Mentor-on-the-Lake. See Rogers or Kip Molenaar.

n Lake County Commissioner Judy Moran hosts Oktoberfest 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 17 at American Legion Hall in Willowick. See Paul Miller or Kevin Malecek.

John Arthur Hutchison

Twitter: @newsheraldjah

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