Created on Thursday, 06 February 2014 Written by REUBEN MEES
Commissioner to face challenge
Three Republicans have filed to run for an open Logan County Family Court judgeship, and the one county commissioner whose seat is up for grabs faces a challenge in the May 6 primary.
That is if all candidates who filed petitions with the Logan County Elections Board by the Wednesday deadline are certified for the ballot.
In the judge race, Kim Kellogg-Martin, 1109 Allison Road; Daniel LaRoche, 106 Ravin Place, West Liberty; and Eric Stewart, 528 N. Main St., have all filed as Republicans to replace Judge Michael L. Brady, who is retiring at the end of the term.
Attorney Bridget Hawkins, 500 Newford Drive, filed as a Democrat, but will not face opposition in the primary race.
Mrs. Kellogg-Martin has a 30-year local law career, beginning with time in private practice before becoming an assistant Logan County prosecutor and eventually head of the Logan County Child Support Enforcement Agency.
During her career, which included several years as chief assistant prosecutor handling high-profile criminal cases, Mrs. Kellogg-Martin has specialized in the protection of the exploited and spearheaded task forces to combat domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse.
She received her bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and a law degree from Ohio Northern University.
She has been involved with several community organizations over the years and is an active member of the St. Patrick Catholic Church.
She and her husband of 32 years, Jeff, have two adult daughters and a granddaughter.
Mr. LaRoche, who has been working as a magistrate in Logan County Family Court for the past year, has a 15-year law career, including time in private practice and in the Logan County Prosecutor’s Office.
During his six years as an assistant prosecutor, Mr. LaRoche prosecuted adult felony cases, provided legal advice to elected officials, taught law enforcement officers in continuing education classes and covered matters in juvenile court.
In his prior eight years in private practice, he focused on criminal defense, domestic relations, juvenile and probate matters.
He graduated from Wilmington College before receiving his law degree from the University of Dayton.
In addition to state and local bar associations, he has been a member of the Logan County Community Corrections Planning Board, and has been involved with the American Red Cross of Logan County, West Liberty Ball Association, West Liberty Soccer Association and Cub Scouts.
He and his wife of 15 years, Tezrené have three children, Adam, Brandon and Joseph.
Mr. Stewart, the current chief assistant prosecutor for Logan County, has more than 14 years of courtroom experience, including high-profile cases such as the Sammy Littleton triple homicide; Michael Robinson’s severe child abuse case involving his 11-month-old son, and the case against Todd and Laura Morris for running a multi-county shoplifting ring with their three daughters.
He also was instrumental in working with the Logan County Sheriff’s Office to reopen the Belle Center murders of Marshal Murray Griffin and Phyllis “Tootie” Mullett and obtain evidence that finally solved the decades-old case.
Mr. Stewart began his career at the prosecutor’s office handling juvenile cases.
Outside the courtroom, he has been involved coaching t-ball, soccer and basketball teams, and is involved in Boy Scouts.
Mr. Stewart and his wife Monica have lived in Bellefontaine for 14 years and have three children, Kelsie, Caleb and America.
In the only other contested primary race, incumbent Logan County Commissioner Dustin Wickersham, 11720 Township Road 87, Lakeview, has filed to run again. He is being challenged by Frank Bruce Lile, 1846 County Road 29. Both are Republicans.
Mr. Wickersham is in the final year of his first term.
In addition to cutting county expenses over the past three years, the commissioners have helped foster an economic climate that has led to expansions at NEX and Midwest Express and dealt with the aftermath of a 2012 storm that dealt significant damage to the Logan County Courthouse.
In the next four years, Mr. Wickersham said he hopes to “continue to watch the county’s budget, repair and reopen the courthouse and continue to support economic development.”
He is a graduate of the Ohio Northern University and is employed by Comstor Outdoor.
He and his wife, Jenna reside near Indian Lake.
Mr. Lile, who has run for commissioner seats several times over the years, owns Lile Excavating.
He said he offers a fresh perspective to the commissioner’s office, and that it’s time someone new be elected to the county commission.
Mr. Lile cited high property tax bills for farmers, based on updated CAUV valuations as a reason he decided to run.
“I’ll never be in favor of excessive taxes,” he said.
Incumbent Michael E. Yoder is the lone candidate for the Logan County Auditor’s Office, while incumbent Pat Myers is running unopposed for Logan County Recorder.