Each general election, The Lima News provides this section profiling the candidates and issues. The Lima News sent questionnaires to every candidate in Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Putnam and Van Wert counties for this election section. Candidates had the opportunity to give biographical information and discuss major issues in their races. Candidates also had an option to submit a photograph. Only names and residences identify candidates who did not return a questionnaire. Van Wert Municipal Court - JudgeJill Worthington Leatherman (incumbent)Party: RepublicanResidence: Monte Carlo Drive, Van WertCampaign website: www.leathermanforjudge.comAge: 40Relevant experience: Since graduating from college, I worked as a law clerk for Judge Charles D. Steele at Van Wert Common Pleas Court following my first year of law school. During the summer of 2001, I was a law clerk at Beers Mallers Backs & Salin in Fort Wayne, Ind. Following law school graduation and passing the bar exam in 2002, I started as a general practice associate attorney in the law offices of Steven L. Diller. I also joined the public defenders’ office and provided criminal defense work for indigent clients. From September 2003 until December 2006, I served as city law director and prosecutor in Van Wert Municipal Court. Immediately before being appointed to the bench. I was a senior claims attorney at Central Mutual Insurance Co. from 2007-10. I am also admitted to practice in the U.S. Federal District Court, Northern District of Ohio, and to the U.S. Supreme Court. Member of First United Methodist Church, Van Wert. For the past six years, served as a board member for the YWCA of Van Wert County, including three years as president. In 2004, selected as YWCA Woman of Achievement. Current member of Van Wert Bar Association and Ohio State Bar Association. Served as member of Van Wert County Law Library Association and Public Defenders’ Commission. Member of Benevolent Protectorate of Elks Lodge 1197. Previous member of American Association of University Woman and member of Community Health Professionals, Private Duty Nursing and Hospice-The Caring Way boards of directors. Served on Day of Caring and agency relations committees of United Way of Van Wert during three-year term on board.Education: Graduated in 1989 from Van Wert High School; bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1999 from The Ohio State University, magna cum laude; juris doctor in 2002 from Ohio Northern University.Years living in area: Lifetime resident of Van Wert County.Major issues: Since my legal career began in 2000 as a law clerk at Van Wert Common Pleas Court, my areas of practice and experience have been broad and varied. I have worked in private practice, public service, in corporate and insurance in addition to working extensively with municipal law on behalf of the City of Van Wert. Both as a defense attorney and a prosecutor, I have tried cases to juries and to judges. From handling bankruptcy matters to domestic relations to probate matters, I have experience from serving people in other areas of law. My broad range of experience makes me well-prepared to meet the demands of a busy court.This community deserves a fair and impartial judge to serve at the Van Wert Municipal Court. Changes have been needed at Van Wert Municipal Court to make the court more responsive to the public. Since I was appointed last November, positive changes have occurred, and I look forward to serving the residents of Van Wert County.