Jefferson County

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Decision 2014: Three vie for Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge

Updated: Friday, May 2 2014, 05:25 PM EDT

WTOV9.com
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ohio -- With Judge David Henderson's retirement, it presents an opening on the bench in the Jefferson County Court of Common Pleas Judge.
Three candidates vying for the position in Lydia E. Spragin, Magistrate Michelle Garcia-Miller, and attorney Craig Allen, who ran against Henderson for the position in 2002.
"I would like to be in a position where I can help to influence decisions for the people who come before me," Spragin said.
She said she would like programs established by Henderson to continue such as drug court, but also believes combatting the problem starts at the grass-roots level.
"We need to come up with some innovative ways to tackle that problem," Spragin said. "Be it working hand-in-hand with the schools, working hand-in-hand with some other outreach program,  letting them know what the consequences are so they don't get to the court and say, 'I thought I would have gotten' (this) or that.' "
Garcia-Miller is the only candidate with judicial experience.
"I want to ensure that every single person is treated with respect, dignity, and most importantly, that decisions are made fairly, independently and unbiased," she said.
Garcia-Miller wants to continue what she's done in her courtroom as Magistrate under Judge Joseph Bruzzese.
"I know what the needs of the community are based on the people that have come before my bench," she said. "I've made those decisions, difficult decisions. You have to do them timely, but  you have to do them fairly. You have to be strong, but you have to be decisive."
Allen has served as an assistant prosecutor in Jefferson County for more than a decade.
"I've actually had 12 more years of being a lawyer so I am actually more qualified this time than I was before," he said.
Allen also believes drug court should be a priority, though with some changes.
"It needs to be regimented because people are going to behave a certain way until the consequences of the behavior are worse than the behavior," he said.
Henderson will continue to serve out the remainder of his term through the end of this year.



Decision 2014: Three vie for Jefferson County Common Pleas Judge


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