Race is on for Norwalk municipal court judge

Three Republicans and one Democrat vying for the judgeship of John Ridge, who retired but is still serving until the vacancy can be filled.
Scott Seitz2
Feb 8, 2013


The race to fill the Norwalk Municipal Court judge seat is on.

Three Republicans and one Democrat filed petitions to run for the seat, which is open due to Judge John Ridge's retirement.

The filing deadline for partisan candidates to file petitions has passed. However, Independent candidates can file up through May 6, which is the day before the primary, while non-partisan candidates have until Aug. 7.

The Nov. 5 general election will determine the winner.

Stories about this race and others, as well as issues on the May 6 ballot, were published this week in the Reflector. To read those stories now, you can subscribe to the e-paper for less than $1 per week.



I hope they find someone like Judge Michael Cicconetti in Lake County. His punishments are priceless!

swiss family

Please find someone SOON!!!!!! Ridge needs to go now!!!

chicken noodle

So, what crime did Judge Ridge find you guilty of?


Swiss, You must be confused and thinking of Huron County Prosecutor Russ Leffler.


Swiss, I think you're confused. It's CBCF/"intense" probation Judge CONWAY who needs to go!


Please Swiss, just because you lost your dispute, which you should have anyway, doesn't mean that Ridge needs to go. He is a fair judge and anyone who says otherwise is a middle aged man that doesn't work and is just sitting on his computer waiting for something else to gripe about.

Swamp Fox

Judge Ridge has done a great job, whoever follows him will find a well run, professional, respected court..........


John is a great man


Never disappoint do you SWISS,now you attack one of the finest elected officials in recent history. Judge Ridge has served honorable and respectfully for many years.

swiss family

Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Personal attacks (including: name calling, presumption of guilt or guilt by association, insensitivity, or picking fights).

Swamp Fox

Anyone with a decision of either retiring with the possibility of losing COLA payment for the rest of your life would have made the same decision as Judge Ridge. He is now siting by assignment with the Supreme Court paying a large portion of his per denim with no benefits being paid by the City of Norwalk. Any delay in picking his successor is up to the local Republican Party and the governor. Only the uninformed would find humor....

swiss family

you are so right.. I just want to see the man get what he wants.. happy retirement J.Stanley... now go!!


lol...i agree!

Swamp Fox

My guess is that the disgruntled has stood before him as a defendant. If they would only go away....

swiss cheese kat's picture
swiss cheese kat

Three are Republicans. Scott Christophel, Harold Freeman and Erie Weisenburger will square off in the May primary. The winner will face Democrat T. Douglas Clifford of Norwalk in November. Christophel, Freeman and Weisenburger are also vying for an appointment by Governor John Kasich to fill for retired Judge John Ridge.

swiss family

so then Judge Ridge will have figured out how he can "double dip" for a year??? well played "your HONOR" , but I guess honor is a play on words after seeing how you are deliberately double dipping...at the taxpayers expense


Judge Ridge has no control over how much longer he will be acting Judge and receiving his well earned retirement. GOP Governor Kasuck could appoint his replacement tomorrow and end any alleged double dipping. There was absolutely no grand conspiracy by Ridge. I'm sure he would have liked to continue as Judge but the short sighted General Assemby forced him to make a choice and he made the right one for himself and his family.

Swamp Fox

swissey let me ask you a question. If you were eligible to retire and preserve your COLA for the rest of your life or continue to serve but loose the COLA what you you do? Any rational person would retire even if they had not planned to retire and then continue working in a related field. In 2012 the largest group of people retired from public service in Ohio facing the same decision, you might not agree with the state pension law but these people had little other choice. It appears you have envy for not choosing public employment or maybe it was qualifications. Judge Ridge has worked his entire career with honor you must have been on the wrong side of the bench with your rants against him as evidence..

Cliff Cannon

@ Swamp Fox : Extremely well put. Thanks.

swiss family


Cliff Cannon

My family has a rental home business. Which means if you understand the diFFiculty's of this business,you can understand why 40 times,I have stood in front of Judge Ridge's bench to plead my case.

Naturally like most, I have a criminal past. So Judge Ridge has also seen me pay fines for tailgating ( Who would've thunk that tailgating ( open container ) wasn't in order at this game ? ) at a " St. Paul- Monroeville " football game.

Worse,he knows my dog liked to haul tail and that my kids also have enough fire in their belly ( or if you prefer are as dumb as their Dad) to end up in court in front of him as well. All of which is too simply say. I have seen him work enough as a judge to speak.

So today, I speak in defense of this good man, because having learned the hard way--- from the witness stand--- not to speak 'heresay evidence' and get -- " The look "-- from him, that says speak; ' the whole truth and nothing but the ...." I feel, I can speak, and not get " The look " once again from this man,I respect very deeply.

Yet, I do not depend on my testimony for why I consider him a kind,good and decent man. Nor do I stand on his--- well-known--- ability to see wrong and try to right it. Neither, his compassion to see suFFering and try to heal it.

No what I depend on is what my friend " Contango " defined in the current " Railroad worker finds bag of money " article---- character. Which he defined as " what you do when no one is around "

So here is what Judge Ridge has done since ----his childhood best friend died---- some quarter a century ago. He has " honored " his best friends' Mother as well as his family with devoted, caring, never ending friendship. So I ask is there a better " judge " than that when considering ones " character " or " honor " ?

So, when I for one, read this on going attack on Judge Ridge's good " honor " by an unnamed critic. I feel the need to look honestly at the 'evidence '--- as he would. Then say knowing,what I know, I acknowledge him as a man of great " honor ". No matter what any unnamed critics say


Very well said!!


i second that,Ridge has done a good job.
i for one wouldn't want his job.
Blessings to all...
and i hope he gets the time he's seeking with his family soon.


How many of the current "public defenders" are now going to run for judge? I sure know who I won't be voting for.

Brock Lee

vote none of the above