A Delaware City Council member and a Powell City Council member will square off for the Republican nomination for Delaware Municipal Court judge May 7.
The winner will appear unopposed on the nonpartisan ballot in November.
Kyle Rohrer, the first assistant Delaware County prosecutor, and attorney Melissa K. Riggins filed petitions for the nomination. Rohrer was elected in 2015 as the 4th Ward representative on Delaware City Council; voters gave Riggins a seat on Powell City Council in 2017.
Incumbent Municipal Court Judge David P. Sunderman is not seeking re-election.
As assistant county prosecutor since 2006, Rohrer said he has handled 50 felony prosecutions on cases including murder, robbery and rape. He previously worked in the Delaware City Prosecutor's Office for seven years, when he prosecuted 74 jury trials in municipal court.
Riggins said she has spent 27 years practicing in municipal courts throughout central Ohio. She has worked as a judicial law clerk, an assistant prosecuting attorney for the city of Columbus and an adjunct professor teaching law courses at Columbus State Community College. She has a private practice in Columbus and is a hearing officer for the state of Ohio.
Rohrer said he is running because his experience as a prosecutor for 20 years lends itself well to being a judge.
"I am equally qualified as a prosecutor for seven years, appearing daily in municipal court," he said. "Often, municipal court is the only branch of court citizens see. My goal is to make sure all who appear feel their case was fully and fairly heard, and a just result reached."
Riggins touted her "extremely well-rounded background and legal experience" and said she was looking forward to serving Delaware County.
"My hearing-officer experience has given me the opportunity to preside over and decide legal disputes, which is what I will be doing on the Delaware Municipal Court bench," she said.
"Municipal court handles small claims, evictions and traffic offenses. It's a high-volume, fast-paced court," Rohrer said.
"The next judge needs to be someone who can think on their feet. I could walk in today and do the job. I have been there year after year."
Having practiced in the Delaware Municipal Court on a regular basis for the past 10 years, Riggins said she knows what is needed to run a successful courtroom and to manage the court's increasing docket size.
"Once I take the bench, one of the things that I am most excited about is implementing a drug court," she said. "Drug courts have been very successful in addressing and reducing the extensive drug problem we have throughout the state, including here in Delaware County."
Rohrer said he has been endorsed in the race by the Delaware County Republican Central Committee.
He also is a member of the Delaware Historic Preservation Committee and the Delaware Airport Commission.
Riggins is in her third term on the Delaware County Republican Party Central Committee representing precinct Powell C. She also is the immediate past president of the Delaware County Republican Women's Club.
The deadline for candidates to file petitions for the May 7 primary was Feb. 6.
The only other contested race on the ballot is for the Republican nomination for Delaware County municipal court clerk.
Incumbent clerk Cindy DiNovo will face state Rep. Kris Jordan (R-Ostrander); the winner will challenge Democrat Emma Mirles, an attorney, on the November ballot.
Voters who live in the Delaware City School District will see a 2.37-mill bond issue on the May ballot.
Superintendent Paul Craft previously said the bond issue would be used to add space to all seven district schools. The no-new-millage bond issue would not raise property owners' taxes, he said.
Finally, Ashley residents will decide whether to renew a 1-mill parks levy in May.