MANSFIELD - At a special meeting of the Richland County Republican Party central committee on Aug. 13, Andrea Clark was selected as the Republican candidate to run for Richland County Common Pleas Court Judge, general division.
Common pleas Judge James DeWeese has announced his retirement, effective Sept. 1, 2018, creating a vacancy in the seat for the two years remaining in his term. That vacancy will be filled at the Nov. 6, 2018 election.
A magistrate in the Richland County Common Pleas Court, Clark said she is excited for the opportunity to become Richland County’s next judge in the general
“It has been such a privilege to work for Judge DeWeese, Judge Henson and Judge Robinson," Clark said. "They have been generous in
teaching and mentoring me in everything that happens here in the general division of the court and what our responsibility is to the citizens of our community.”
Clark has worked at the Richland County Court of Common Pleas for the last nine years.
“I was hired as the mortgage foreclosure crisis was reaching its first peak,” Clark said. “Judge DeWeese and staff attorney Karen Cannon had developed the Richland County Mortgage Conciliation Program to assist homeowners to work with their lenders to retain their homes.
"As a brand-new staff attorney, I was tasked with facilitating the conciliation program, and that was the major focus of my work for about six years.”
Mortgage foreclosure cases have represented 40 to 50 percent of all civil cases filed in the court during the years Clark has managed the program. Clark estimates she has assisted 400 to 500 Richland County families to stay in their homes over the last nine years.
Clark was promoted to the position of magistrate in April 2015.
“Being a magistrate means I have taken on additional responsibilities,” Clark said. “The judges can assign many of the functions of a judge to be done by a magistrate. As a magistrate I have conducted dozens of pre-trial and post-trial hearings and presided over several bench trials.
“This is going to be a great adventure. There is so little time between now and the election, I need be to up and running this campaign every day. I have known since early in law school that I wanted to become a judge. This selection as a candidate to run is the best opportunity I could have hoped for to serve Richland County with the experience and skills I have learned in the common pleas court.”