Sherron recommended for Middletown judgeship by GOP

The Middletown region of the Butler County GOP Central Committee has recommended local attorney James Sherron to Ohio Gov. John Kasich to serve on the Middletown Municipal Court bench.

Though Sherron is the recommended candidate, GOP officials say the names of all four attorneys — who include Melynda Cook Howard, Jeff Milbauer and Terri King — will be sent to Kasich’s office for consideration to succeed late Middletown Municipal Court Judge Mark Wall.

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All four attorneys, along with attorney Beth Yauch Joseph, a Democrat, are also certified to be on the November ballot for voters to decide who should complete the final two years of Wall’s unexpired six-year term.

“I’m excited to take the next step in taking the Middletown Municipal bench,” Sherron said.

The judgeship has been vacant since Wall’s death on Feb. 11. He died in his home of a cardiovascular event.

The Ohio Supreme Court appointed three retired judges to hear cases in Wall’s courtroom until either an appointment is made or an election occurs.

The four local attorneys at Monday night’s GOP recommendation meeting have been certified to be on November’s ballot to serve the remaining two years on Wall’s term. There will be five names on the November ballot.

Wall died as he finished three years into his six-year term. State law requires petitions for candidacy of a vacated municipal judgeship be filed no later than 10 days following a vacancy, and an election will be held for the next general election.

Wall’s term does not end until Dec. 31, 2019.

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Sherron, who was “highly recommended” by the GOP’s screening committee, received 17 votes Monday night at the recommendation meeting. Defense attorney Melynda Cook Howard, who was also rated as “highly recommended,” received nine votes.

“This is but one part of the process,” said Cook Howard, who received the support of FOP lodges 36 and 101 — the law enforcement unions for the Butler County Sheriff’s Office and Middletown Division of Police, respectively. “I still think I’m the best candidate.”

The other Republican attorneys seeking the party’s recommendation, Milbauer and King, received four votes and no votes, respectively by the party.

Beth Yauch Joseph, who practices under her maiden name Yauch, was not at the recommendation meeting but has been certified to be on the November ballot.

She said if she is fortunate to be appointed or elected to the Middletown municipal bench, it would be an honor, but until that would happen she will focus on her law practice.

“As an attorney, we can’t just stop. We are here for our clients,” she said. “A judgeship is different. The community is our client.”

Butler County Democratic Party officials said they intend to submit Joseph’s name to Gov. Kasich.

There is no timeline on how long it could take for an appointment, and Kasich spokeswoman Emmalee Kalmbach said there’s no update at this time.

It took about two months before Kasich made the appointment of Judge Greg Howard, who succeeded the late Craig Hedric after his death in November.

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