Two running to preside over Washington County Court of Common Pleas

Published: Nov. 2, 2020 at 6:22 PM EST
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MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - When Common Pleas Judge John Triplett retired in June, John Halliday was appointed to the bench.

Now, after a few months of working in his dream job, Halliday is running for election on Tuesday against Magistrate Shoshanna Brooker.

The two candidates agree it’s been a friendly campaign, but each argues that it’s their personal experiences in the legal system that set them apart.

Halliday’s experience includes more than 26 years working as a general practitioner. He was also the acting judge over Marietta Municipal Court from 2003 to 2005.

“I’m very involved in the community. I think I have the even temperament, the requisite intellect to do this job, and have done it very well,” Halliday said.

Brooker said she is efficient, which is something anyone who appears in a courtroom should value.

“Last year I closed 791 cases,” she said. “I have an average of a 103 percent clearance rate the entire time I’ve been on the bench. That means, if there are 1,000 cases filed, I closed 1,030 of them a year.”

Brooker said she wants to update technology that’s used in the courtroom and oversee improvements to the county’s drug court.

“The court itself has started a drug court through Judge (Mark) Kerenyi, and it’s great,” she said. “The problem is, we’ve only had one judge doing it because of all the different changes that have gone on in the last couple years. I had gone to specialized training for specialized dockets a few years ago in the hopes of transitioning into that position quickly. So I’m really hoping to get that started right away.”

Halliday said he has worked with Kerenyi to update some of the technology in the courts already and hopes to continue making other improvements should he win the election.

“We have continued to innovate, do some time saving things, focus on the budget and cost savings as well,” he said. "Additionally, it’s important to keep the docket moving, and I’ve done that since I’ve been on the bench.

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