MANSFIELD -- The Richland County Democratic Central Committee selected Mansfield Municipal Court Magistrate Phil Naumoff to be the Democratic candidate for Richland Common Pleas Court judge.
Naumoff will run against Republican candidate, Andrea Clark, who is currently a magistrate in the Richland County Common Pleas Court, in the Nov. 6 election.
Common pleas Judge James DeWeese announced his retirement, effective Sept. 1, 2018, creating a vacancy in the seat for the two years remaining in his term. The winner of the November election will fill the void.
Tuesday, the Democratic Central Committee chose Naumoff over another democratic nominee, defense attorney Cassie Mayer.
"I'm very appreciative of the support. It's a validation of my hard work, character and their trust in me," Naumoff said. "To see other people say, 'look you do a great job,' it feels good."
Naumoff has previously run for Richland County Common Pleas Court judge. In 2014, he lost against incumbent Brent Robinson, who was appointed by Gov. John Kasich to serve the remainder of James Henson’s term when he retired earlier that year.
When asked what he hoped to do differently, Naumoff said, "to win."
He has served as the Mansfield Municipal Court magistrate for about eight-and-a-half-years. Before that, he spent 16 years in a private practice, where he handled "the gamut of cases."
"It takes someone experienced," he said. "You need to come in prepared for something like this." He believes he has more appropriate experience over his opponent.
Clark has worked at the Richland County Court of Common Pleas for the last nine years. She was hired when the mortgage foreclosure crisis was reaching its first peak.
"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," Clark said at an earlier time. "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.
“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.”