Payne files petitions for municipal court judge race

LIMA — Lima Municipal Court Magistrate John Payne took another step in his efforts to become the next municipal court judge when he submitted petitions for his candidacy Thursday at the Allen County Board of Elections.

Payne originally announced his candidacy to replace the retiring Judge David Rodabaugh in August. Payne will not be alone on that ballot, however, as Lima City Prosecutor Rick Eddy declared his candidacy for the seat a short time later. Both are running as Republicans.

“I’m just excited to file the petitions to run for judge in Lima Municipal Court,” Payne said. “I’m excited to continue to go out and talk to the voters about holding offenders accountable as well as restoring them into the community.”

In his current capacity as magistrate, Payne presides over various hearings in municipal court ranging from traffic violations and civil cases to preliminary hearings on felony charges. He also presides over the Veterans’ Treatment Court helping veterans obtain benefits, substance abuse treatment and employment.

Payne promised that, if elected, he would address underlying issues concerning offenses while maintaining accountability concerning the offenders.

“Drugs, alcohol, mental illness — these are significant issues and we need to address them,” he said. “It’s hard work, but we need to do that to keep our community safe.”

Payne noted that people in the community who enter the judicial process often begin that process through the municipal court, making that judicial seat even more important.

“The municipal court is the people’s court,” he said. “I want people to know that I’m going to be fair, that I’m going to listen to them and I’m going to make the best decision I can and follow the law.”

Payne encouraged voters to go to his website,, to learn more about his background, qualifications and priorities.

“I believe in family, faith, freedom and hard work,” he said. “That’s what I’m about.”

This year’s primary election will be held on May 2.

Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0391 or on Twitter @cmkelly419.