“At the time I had made that statement, I was not aware who all was running but I knew she was,” Yauch told the Journal-News.
Yauch, Cook Howard and attorney James Sherron all pulled petitions on Feb. 14, just three days after the death of Wall, though Yauch pulled anonymously.
Middletown area attorneys Terri King and Jeff Milbauer also later pulled petitions to run for the seat, but eventually withdrew from the race.
Yauch wouldn’t say who she was referencing in her voicemail.
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When questioned about her apparent early support for her opponent, Yauch told the Journal-News she is now “all in” and wants to win on Nov. 7 to serve the remaining two years of Wall’s unexpired term.
She defended her earlier statements, saying at the time she wasn’t certain she wanted to leave her practice and run for judge. In hindsight, she said she should not have left that voicemail.
“I put my name in because if you did not hit that 10-day period you were forever barred for this election (from running),” Yauch said.
Yauch said she did some “soul searching” during a vacation in March and determined she wanted to win election to the judgeship seat.
State law requires petitions be filed within 10 days of a judicial vacancy being created. Anyone seeking to run for the unexpired term in November had to file petitions by Feb. 21.
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It’s difficult to beat an incumbent judge in Butler County, based on historical election data. Most judges in Butler County have been in their seat for multiple terms, except for the few that were appointed because of a judicial retirement due to age or death.