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GOP to suggest pick after Butler County judge’s death

The Butler County Republican Party will make a recommendation in two weeks to Ohio Gov. John Kasich on who should replace the late Craig Hedric as a county common pleas judge.

Hedric, 55, died on Sunday, Nov. 13, at a local hospital after he collapsed in his Liberty Twp. home. He was elected to serve as a Butler County Common Pleas judge in November 2006 and re-elected to a second six-year term in November 2012.

The person selected to replace Hedric will need to run for election in November 2018.

County GOP Executive Chairman Todd Hall told the Journal-News there are three people who have expressed interest in the county judge spot: Fairfield Municipal Court Judge Joyce Campbell, local attorney Greg Howard and assistant Butler County prosecutor Brad Burress.

The recommendation will be made by the Butler County Party’s executive committee on Dec. 14 at Tori’s Station in Fairfield, and it will provide the recommendation to Kasich.

All candidates for the judicial seat will be screened by the party’s screening committee on Dec. 13.

The Journal-News has confirmed Campbell’s and Howard’s interest, but a message was left for Burress seeking confirmation. County party officials have said no others at this time have expressed an interest, but believe others may want to be considered for the recommendation for appointment.

Campbell posted on Facebook she’s “looking forward” to her county party screening committee interview on Dec. 13 “for the opportunity to fill the vacant seat on the Butler County Common Pleas Court.” Howard told the Journal-News the opportunity is “bittersweet” because Hedric was a close friend, but he “hope(s) to have the opportunity to serve the citizens of Butler County.”

Retired Montgomery County Judge James A. Brogan was appointed by the Ohio Supreme Court — at the request of the Butler County judges — to hear the cases Hedric was presiding over. Brogan served on the Second District Court of Appeals.

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