Shaker dominated Niles in judicial election

NILES — Municipal Court Judge-elect Chris Shaker’s victories in all 13 of the voting precincts in Niles proved too much for his challenger to overcome despite her wins in nearly every other precinct within the court’s jurisdiction.

Kara Stanford won nine of the 10 precincts in Weathersfield and McDonald — in some cases, easily — but she couldn’t shake Shaker’s dominance in Niles that led to his seven-point win Tuesday, according to a precinct breakdown from the Trumbull County Board of Elections.

Shaker won 53.5 percent of the vote to Stanford’s 46.5 percent, according to incomplete, unofficial returns from the elections board, which has a meeting set Nov. 27 to certify the results from Election Day.

Shaker, who bested Stanford by 473 votes, received 813 more than her in Niles, the numbers show. Stanford had 128 more votes in McDonald, where she won all three precincts, and 212 more in Weathersfield, where she won six of the seven precincts.

The jurisdiction of Niles Municipal Court is Niles, Weathersfield and McDonald.

There were 6,753 votes cast out of the 20,340 registered voters in the three communities, or about 33 percent, which is about 3 percent greater than overall turnout in Trumbull County.

Shaker, 59, said he carried McDonald in the Democratic primary election, too, although he underperformed in Weathersfield. The same seemed to ring true for the general election, he said, although he said he gave all three communities equal focus throughout his campaign.

Shaker said he’s not surprised he carried the Niles precincts because his roots are in Niles, his law firm is downtown and his father, who was a Trumbull County Common Pleas Court judge, was also well known.

“My clients and friends are here,” Shaker said. “I’ve worked in the community here for 34 years and been a member of organizations, clubs and different things. I think people downtown know me better than those in the surrounding jurisdictions.”

Stanford, 35, also an attorney from Niles, attributes her wins in Weathersfield and McDonald to positive interactions she said she had with voters in those communities during her campaign.

“I certainly spent time in Weathersfield and McDonald, but I didn’t focus more on those areas,” said Stanford, who ran as an independent. “I wanted to make sure I gave ample attention to each of the three within the judicial district.”

Shaker will replace Judge Thomas Townley, who will retire at the end of the year.

Precinct breakdown

Precinct breakdown in Niles Municipal Court judge race

Precinct Shaker Stanford

Niles 1-A 174 156

Niles 1-C 196 155

Niles1-D 157 99

Niles 2-A 289 176

Niles 2-B 298 124

Niles 2-C 200 161

Niles 2-E 175 106

Niles 3-A 199 139

Niles 3-C 145 100

Niles 3-D 163 129

Niles 4-A 146 90

Niles 4-C 166 122

Niles 4-D 186 124

McD A 150 206

McD B 107 116

McD C 153 216

Weathersfield A 91 109

Weathersfield B 95 125

Weathersfield C 28 56

Weathersfield D 192 231

Weathersfield E 150 122

Weathersfield G 63 108

Weathersfield J 90 170