Voters to decide Toledo Municipal Court race
By La Prensa Staff
While there are higher-profile city council races in Toledo and
Maumee on the November ballot, there is also a two-candidate
race for a seat on the Toledo Municipal Court bench—the
term commences January 2020.
What makes this race particularly interesting are the two
judicial candidates are the adult children of two long-time
judges in prominent positions.
Like all city-wide elected offices, the Toledo Municipal Court
Judge race is non-partisan. This means that even though
both candidates are endorsed and supported by their respective
political parties, their party affiliation won’t be stated on
48, announced his re-election bid to the Toledo Municipal Court
bench last spring. The St. Francis de Sales High School alumnus
earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Dayton and
graduated from the University of Toledo’s College of Law. The
endorsed Republican incumbent is single. Lanzinger
ran last year for a judgeship in Lucas County Common Pleas
Court, but lost to Democrat Joe McNamara.
Lanzinger also worked in private and solo practice for a period
of time. However, following the September 11th
terrorist attacks, he
interrupted his practice to enlist in the U.S. Army. After
training at Ft. Benning in Georgia, he was deployed to Iraq as
part of Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Lanzinger returned to serve as an attorney in the worker’s
compensation section in the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for
nearly a decade before being elected a judge in 2013. He has
served as both the presiding and administrative judge at Toledo
Municipal Court. He holds committee posts with both the Criminal
Justice Coordinating Council and the Ohio Judicial Conference.
Judge Lanzinger remains active in the Toledo Bar Association and
Thurgood Marshall Law Association.
Lanzinger is following in the footsteps of his mother, Judith
Ann Lanzinger, the only judicial candidate in Ohio history
to win election to each level of judicial office in the state:
Toledo Municipal Court, Lucas County Common Pleas Court, the
Ohio Sixth District Court of Appeals, and the Ohio Supreme
Court, where she was first elected in 2004. Justice Lanzinger
was forced to step down from the bench at the end of her second
term in 2016, because she had reached the mandatory retirement
age of 70.
38, presently works at the City of Toledo Law Dept. The Ottawa
Hills High School alumnus earned his undergraduate degree from
Denison University, where he played all four years on the
baseball team. The endorsed Democrat earned his law degree from
the University of Toledo. The first-time political candidate has
been married for 12 years and has four children, all age ten and
Puffenberger spent a few years in private law practice, then
went into public service as a public defender, an assistant
Lucas County prosecutor, and a staff attorney at the Ohio 6th
District Court of Appeals before becoming a senior attorney
civil litigation division of the city’s law department.
He is a member of the Toledo and Lucas County bar associations
and serves on the scholarship committee at the Old Newsboys
Puffenberger is seeking to follow in the footsteps of his
notable father, Jack Puffenberger, a longtime elected
judge who served one term on the Toledo Municipal Court bench,
followed by his election to Lucas County Probate Court judge in
1991. He is now serving his fifth term on the bench, presiding
over more than 3,000 adoptions in that time. Judge Puffernberger
intends to run for one more term in 2020.
Toledo Municipal Court Judge Amy Berling is running
unopposed in the same election. Voters first put her on the TMC
bench in 1995. Polls will be open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on
Election Day, Nov. 5, 2019.
Both Lanzinger and Puffenberger are highly qualified for the
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10/29/19 12:09:12 -0800.