Middletown judicial candidate drops from race

Middletown Municipal Judge candidate Jeff Milbauer has withdrawn from the race to fill the final two years on the late Judge Mark Wall’s term.

Milbauer, a Middletown area attorney, withdrew on Aug. 29, without reason, according to his letter to the Butler County Board of Elections.

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The letter reads:

“Please be advised I wish to withdraw as a candidate for election for Middletown Municipal Court Judge scheduled for Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Accordingly, please do not include my name on the ballot for that office. Thank you for your kind assistance throughout this process.”

Milbauer told the Journal-News his decision to leave the race “was a decision I made with my family, my supporters and we just felt that was the appropriate thing to do.”

He wouldn’t say if he’s supporting any remaining candidate in the race for Middletown Municipal judge.

“I am very much still committed to fighting the opioid epidemic and my hope is that whoever is elected to the position will take up that cause and implement a drug court in the municipal court,” he said.

Milbauer’s withdrawal comes on the last day the board of election could remove his name from November’s ballot.

As of now, three names of candidates — incumbent Judge Melynda Cook Howard and attorneys James Sherron and Elizabeth Ann Yauch — will appear on the November ballot to finish the unexpired term.

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Cook Howard succeeded Wall on the Middletown municipal bench when she was appointed in May to the post in April by Ohio Gov. John Kasich. She was sworn in on June 16.

Wall died on Feb. 11 with nearly three years remaining on his term. Though Cook Howard was only appointed to serve until a new judge is elected to complete the unexpired term. Whichever candidate wins in November will serve the final two years on Wall’s term.

There were five who were certified by the board of elections to run for the unexpired term, but now two — Milbauer and attorney Terri King — have withdrew from the race.

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