LIMA — Slightly more than a month removed from being named the Outstanding Assistant Prosecutor of the Year by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association, Terri Kohlrieser has thrown her hat into the political ring as a candidate for judge of the Allen County Common Pleas Court. She filed her petition of candidacy Tuesday afternoon at the Board of Elections office.
Her status as an unopposed candidate will be short-lived, however, as Lima attorney Lawrence Huffman announced Tuesday he will formally declare his candidacy later this week for the judicial seat being vacated at the end of this year by Judge David A. Cheney. Both Kohlrieser and Huffman are Republicans, setting up a party vote in the May 8 primary election.
“For over a decade, I have prosecuted felony cases in Allen County Common Pleas Court,” Kohlrieser said. “Serving as chief assistant prosecutor, as well as my prior legal experience, gives me the necessary experience and qualifications to serve as judge of Allen County Common Pleas Court.”
Kohlrieser said she welcomed any other candidate who seeks the judicial office.
Asked about potential challenges she might face in making the transition from a prosecuting attorney to that of a judge, Kohlrieser drew a parallel between the two positions.
“Prosecutors are charged with administering justice, and that’s what I intend to do from the bench as well,” she said.
Kohlrieser said she would draw on her past experience as a judicial clerk for Third District Court of Appeals Judge Stephen Shaw, from whom she learned the importance of objectivity in a sitting judge.
Allen County Prosecuting Attorney Juergen Waldick offered his “unequivocal support” for Kohlrieser’s candidacy.
“Terri is uniquely qualified for the job; she has the intellect and the passion necessary,” said Waldick. “She’s been an outstanding prosecutor for more than 10 years, and from a moral and intellectual standpoint, her qualifications are unparalleled.”
Cheney is barred by Ohio law from seeking another term behind the bench because of his age. He was elected to the court in November 2012, without opposition, and began his full six-year term on Jan. 1, 2013.