3 Republicans in running to replace Clark County juvenile court judge

Three local Republicans have been chosen as candidates to become the next Clark County Juvenile Court Judge — a position that handles cases for more than 4,000 children annually with a more than $4.5 million general fund budget.

Clark County Juvenile Court Judge Joseph Monnin announced earlier this summer he would retire after 22 years on the bench. His term won’t expire until the end of 2018. Gov. John Kasich is expected to appoint his successor to fill the remainder of his term.

RELATED: Clark County Juvenile Court judge Monnin to retire

The candidates to replace Monnin are:

• Dan Carey, an assistant Clark County prosecutor.

• Katrine Lancaster, Clark County Common Pleas Court magistrate.

• Robert Vaughn, a professor at Cedarville University.

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The juvenile court, a division of the Clark County Common Pleas Court, has more than 80 employees. The judge oversees both the juvenile clerk of court’s office and the detention center, which employs cooks, teachers, bailiffs, stenographers and other administrative positions. Monnin’s salary was set at about $133,000 annually, per Ohio statute.

The juvenile judge handles a variety of cases including delinquency, paternity, traffic and custody, Court Administrator Wynette Carter-Smith said.

The replacement candidates were selected by the Clark County Republican Party. All three are solid choices and would do a good job in the position, Republic Party Chairwoman Lynda Smith said.

“The process is moving along,” she said. “It’s just up to the governor’s office at this point.”

Carey, a Springfield resident, served for 24 years in private practice before joining the prosecutor’s office. He ran for Clark County Municipal Court judge in 2015 and lost to incumbent Judge Eugene Nevius, one of the longest-tenured judges in Ohio.

Lancaster, of South Charleston, has never run for public office, but has worked as a magistrate in Clark County since 2000, according to the Ohio Association of Magistrates.

Vaughn, a South Charleston resident, ran for a seat on the Second District Court of Appeals in November of 2014 and was defeated by incumbent Judge Jeffrey Froelich.

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Monnin retired effective June 30 and was selected by the Ohio Supreme Court to serve as a visiting judge since July 1.

It’s business at usual at the juvenile court, Carter-Smith said.

“It’s really helped us smooth things out during the time that we’re not sure who the governor is going to appoint,” she said. “It helped with continuity. Clearly he knows our court.”


Monnin’s visiting judge appointment will end Aug. 31. An open house for Monnin will be held from 3 to 4:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Clark County Juvenile Court, Carter-Smith said.

The person appointed to the position will have to run for re-election next year and could face a primary in May, Smith said.

“Whoever is appointed has to run immediately,” Smith said.


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By the numbers

4,000: Children’s cases annually at the Clark County Juvenile Court

$4.5 million: General fund budget of the juvenile court

80: Employees at the juvenile court

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The Springfield News-Sun digs into stories that affect public safety in Clark and Champaign counties, including recent stories on debates about merging courts and clerks and efforts to combine the city and county 9-1-1 dispatch centers.

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