A pair of Republicans set for judicial wins in November

A pair of Republicans won judicial primary races Tuesday in Butler County, and will run uncontested races, unless somebody files as a write-in candidate.

John Holcomb won the Republican primary race for Butler County Probate Court judge, and Warren County attorney Matthew Byrne held on to win a late-night victory for an open seat on the Ohio 12th District Court of Appeals.

Byrne captured 32.4 percent of the votes in a four-candidate race, finishing ahead of Clermont County attorney Mary Lynne Birck, who had 29.3 percent; Butler County Common Pleas Judge Noah E. Powers II, with 25 percent; and Ohio Sen. Bill Coley, with 13.3 percent, according to unofficial results.

Byrne was not available for comment after his victory.

The opening on the bench occurred because Ohio’s judicial age limit prevented appeals court Judge Robert Ringland from seeking re-election. The state’s 12th District Appeals Court incorporates eight counties: Butler, Warren, Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Fayette, Madison and Preble.

Byrne earned a bachelor’s degree from Xavier University and his law degree from The Ohio State University. He practices law at Jackson Lewis P.C., law firm.

Before law school, Byrne said he worked as a White House staffer during President George W. Bush’s first term.

Byrne previously told the Journal-News that “in addition to my extensive experience representing clients in both trial and appeals court cases, I am the only candidate who has actually demonstrated his commitment to the right judicial philosophy by serving as a leader in—or even being involved in — the Federalist Society.”

“I believe that the role of a judge is limited: to apply the law as written, not as the judge may prefer it to be,” he said. “Whether applying a constitution, a statute, or a regulation, the judge’s role is to impartially apply the original meaning of the words, not to create new law. A judge is a judge, not a legislator.”

Probate Court race

Holcomb, a member of Holcomb & Hyde LLC law firm in Hamilton, captured 64 percent of the vote over his opponent Heather L. Cady, the county probate court magistrate, who also serves as court administrator, according to unofficial election results.

MORE: Check out the area’s 2020 primary election results

“I am very pleased with the result,” Holcomb said. “I’m very thankful to the voters of Butler County, all of my supporters who helped me so much with this race, and I would also like to salute my opponent, Magistrate Cady, for running a dignified and honorable race.”

That was one of two races where Republican judicial candidates vied for seats on Butler County ballots Tuesday.

In both cases, Tuesday’s winner will not be opposed by Democrats in November, so they will be elected unless a candidate registers as a write-in candidate.

The probate judge seat has been held since 1995 by Judge Randy Rogers, who is retiring.

Probate courts handle many aspects of life, including — most familiar to the general public — estates of people who have died, and trusts. But they also handle matters including mental illness and mental incompetence.

EARLIER ARTICLE: 2 Republicans running for probate judge in Butler County

About the Author