If you've been trying to figure out the comings and goings of Republican judges in Summit County, you may need more experience in following the bouncing balls. I'll warily try to explain. Get out your pencil and paper for these curious twists and turns.
Our journey began with Gov. Kasich's appointment of State Rep. Todd McKenney to the coveted Probate Court bench in November, 2011.
Within weeks, he announced that he wouldn't seek a full term because he didn't want a political campaign to distract his work in his new job.. The buzz at the time was that he had made a couple of appointments that distracted Summit County Republican Chairman Alex Arshinkoff, who would withhold campaign cash from him in a Probate primary race against Common Pleas Judge Allison McCarty.
McCarty lost anyway to Common Pleas Judge Elinore Marsh Stormer, a Democrat.
After a stint in private practice, McKenney seems to have gotten back into Arshinkoff's good graces and was appointed to the Barberton Municipal Court bench by Kasich on April 11.
(Still with me?) Then Common Pleas Judge Jane Davis , who had held her appointed seat for no more than a year, announced earlier this month that she would not seek election in November. Hmmm...
Sooooo...the Summit County Republican Executive Committee, chaired by Arshinkoff ally Bryan Williams, nominated McKenney to seek election to the seat against Probate Court Magistrate, Jon Oldham, a Democrat..
It's a given that Arshinkoff's hand has been in the middle of all of this judicial mobility. And although we've been asked to solve the riddle of why Davis withdrew, she didn't return my phone call and Republicans aren't talking - or aren't in Alex's loop. Whew!