MEDINA — Attorney Heidi R. Carroll’s qualifications to run for judge of Medina County Domestic Relations Court have been vetted by the Ohio secretary of state and state Supreme Court and found acceptable.
Carroll’s qualifications were challenged after she was certified earlier this year to run for judge on Tuesday’s Republican primary ballot.
The Liverpool Township resident will oppose Democratic incumbent Mary Kovack in the November general election. Both candidates are unopposed in their respective primaries.
On April 27, the Ohio Supreme Court supported a March decision by Secretary of State Jon Husted that said Carroll’s legal experience meets the requirements to run for judge.
“They challenged Husted’s decision at the Supreme Court level,” Carroll said Thursday. “It was a unanimous (7-0) decision. The efforts of the protesters were dubious.”
Carroll said voting for her would be a fresh start. Kovack has been judge for 18 years. She said she’d show up for work every day, keep politics out of the court, resolve cases in a timely manner, be fair to men and women, and put children and families first.
After Husted’s decision, Mary Emhoff, who was one of three residents to oppose Carroll’s candidacy, filed a petition with the high court asking it to rescind Husted’s decision and to remove Carroll from the ballot.
The court denied her request.
In its denial, the court said Carroll was “engaged in the practice of law” for more than six years as required by law to seek a judicial post. The court said Carroll’s hearing testimony, as well as the sworn affidavit of her former supervisor at the Cleveland Clinic, established that she was engaged in the practice of law as an attorney.
“Carroll provided legal advice based on her analysis of the law, which is the hallmark of practicing law,” the court said.
Medina attorney Patricia A. Walker, who filed the petition with the high court on behalf of Emhoff, said in a written statement: “It is disappointing that the Ohio Supreme Court found Ms. Carroll to be qualified to run, despite having only handled 3 cases in Domestic Relations Court. Even giving her the benefit of doubt, the Ohio Supreme Court found that she has only practiced law 60 more days than the meager statutory minimum.”
After Carroll was certified, Emhoff, Allen Lowery and Mary Guilfoyle filed protests against her candidacy, saying she didn’t meet the requirement per Section 2301.01 of the Ohio Revised Code of practicing law for at least six years.
The Medina County Board of Elections held a hearing and voted Feb. 26 on the matter, which ended in a 2-2 deadlock, with each of the four board members voting along party lines.
Husted made his ruling in Carroll’s favor March 14.
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