Thursday, August 14, 2014

GOP judicial employment office working overtime

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!

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