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Local Medina County News

Domestic Relations judge will face fall challenge; candidates file for May 8 primary

  • Carroll-Heidi-jpg

    Heidi Carroll, candidate for Medina County Domestic Relations Judge.


  • Kovack-Mary-jpg

    Medina County Domestic Relations Judge Mary Kovack



Medina County Domestic Relations Judge Mary Kovack, who is seeking a fourth term, won’t have an opponent in the May 8 Democratic primary, but she will in the November election.

In the fall, she will face Republican Heidi R. Carroll, of Liverpool Township.

Kovack, who said she filed her petitions Tuesday with the Medina County Board of Elections, also has experience as a former county assistant prosecutor, a family law attorney and a single parent.

The Medina resident first was elected to the Domestic Relations Court in 2000, was re-elected in 2006 and ran unopposed in 2012. Terms are six years.

“When I first ran for judge, I promised you that I would put families first,” she said in a statement.

“Over the last 18 years, I have kept my promise. During my time as domestic relations judge, I have created several no-cost/low-cost programs that have helped thousands of families deal with the changes to their family dynamic, reduce their conflict and resolve their differences.

“If re-elected, I will continue to find new and inexpensive ways to help both parents and children. I will continue to put families first.”

Carroll, an attorney since 2002, has been in health care law for the majority of her career.

“I believe it’s time for a change,” she said.

She said she isn’t intimidated by the fact Kovack has been the county’s domestic relations judge for 18 years.

“I’ve been in her courtroom for nine of those 18 years,” she said, noting she does pro bono work on divorce cases.

“I have to go up to the courthouse to pick up the dockets,” she said. “We need an online system in Medina County where people can go in and pull off the dockets (for domestic relations court).”

She said going through a divorce is difficult for adults and children.

“You should be a servant to the community by providing efficiencies,” Carroll said. “Both sides should leave feeling like the court supported them, and in particular the children of divorce.”

Carroll, a lifelong resident of Medina County, attended Buckeye High School and is a green belt in tae kwon do.

She said she was encouraged to run by William G. Batchelder III, former speaker of the Ohio House.

“He knows I come from a family of strong individuals in the community, and we have an ethical background.”

He asked, “ ‘Why don’t you run?’ ” Carroll said.

She listened.

Other races

  • State Rep. Steve Hambley, of Brunswick, is running for re-election for the 69th District House seat and is unopposed in the Republican primary. In the November general election, Hambley will face Carol Brenstuhl, of Medina, who is unopposed in Democratic primary. Hambley has earned 69 percent of the vote in each of the last two elections — in 2014 and 2016.
  • Darrell D. Kick, of Loudonville, is running for re-election for the 70th District House seat and is unopposed in the Republican primary. In the general election, Kick will run against Steve Johnson, of Ashland, who’s unopposed in Democratic primary.
  • Both Medina County commissioner candidates will be unopposed in the May 8 primary. Democrat Carol Carter, the mayor of Seville, will square off against Republican Colleen M. Swedyk, the county recorder, in the November election.
  • Democrat Mike Kovack is running unopposed for re-election as county auditor. No Republican filed to run in the primary and write-in candidates have until Feb. 26 to file.

The board of elections has until Feb. 19 to certify petitions.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or

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