WILMINGTON — Gov. John Kasich has appointed Mike Daugherty Clinton County Municipal Judge, effective July 7.
Daugherty, who won his fellow Republicans’ nomination for judge in the May 5 primary, still must face independent candidate Sharon A. Kornman in the Nov. 4 general election.
An enthusiastic Daugherty drove to Columbus Friday to sign papers to assume his role.
“When the news that Judge (Chad) Carey would be running unopposed was announced, we thought that the governor would be appointing someone and naming them last summer,” Daugherty said. “It was decided by the party leadership that the people should decide who got appointed, and so we waited until the primary was over. At the time, we did not anticipate there would be any other candidates but the Republican candidates in the fall election.”
“Because we have a Republican governor at this time, (appointing Daugherty) would be something that would be expected of the Republican governor” to aid Daugherty, said Kornman. “The fact is that only 1,300 people voted for this man, so it’s not an overwhelming show of support.”
Kornman said the number of registered voters in Clinton County, 26,000, outweighed the 3,655 Republican ballots cast in the primary.
Daugherty did not comment on Kornman’s candidacy, calling her a “friend and colleague.”
“It’s a contest,” he said. “I’m not going to focus on my opponent; I’m going to focus on presenting to the voters that I’m the best choice for the job. I believe in positive campaigns.”
On assuming the judgeship, he said, “It will be different,” while campaigning. “But I have been a busy, busy man for 20 years. Next week, I go from three jobs to one job. And while that is a big responsibility, I think I can find the time and will make the time to do the job the way it is supposed to be done.
“I’m grateful for my support, and I’m looking forward to taking office,” Daugherty said.
Kornman said she didn’t believe the appointment would give Daugherty much of an advantage in the general election, adding that people “truly want a choice” in their elected officials.
“I believe that I have a very fair and impartial reputation in the community, something that will benefit Clinton County when I’m on the bench,” she said.
Daugherty’s swearing-in ceremony will be Monday, July 6 at 10 a.m., at the Municipal Court.
Since Chad Carey, the former municipal judge, took office as Clinton County Probate and Juvenile Judge, three judges have filled in for Carey while voters elect a judge.
Retired Clinton County Common Pleas Judge William B. McCracken and retired Greene County judges Catherine Barber and J. Timothy Campbell have served as interim judges.
Also, Daugherty’s appointment comes with his resignation as village solicitor for both Clarksville and New Vienna. Brett Rudduck, a Republican candidate for law director of Wilmington, will replace him. Rudduck’s opponent, Joe Dennis, has filed paperwork to withdraw as a candidate, but it has not yet been approved by the board of elections.
Reach Nathan Kraatz at 937-382-2574, ext. 2510 or on Twitter @NathanKraatz.