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Judges chosen for 11th District appeals court

WARREN — The 11th District Court of Appeals judges have been chosen.

Appellate Judges Matt Lynch and Cynthia Rice were named to the bench after the Tuesday election over incumbent Judge Timothy P. Cannon and Sarah Thomas Kovoor, respectively. Lynch received 55 percent of the vote, with Cannon taking home 45 percent. Rice received 52 percent and Kovoor got 48 percent, according to incomplete and unofficial results from the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.

Lynch already is a judge on the 11th District Court, but sought to take Cannon’s position.

“I am privileged to continue to serve the people of northeast Ohio in the 11th District,” Lynch said. “I give God the glory because it’s a miracle.”

The 69-year-old Lynch is reaching the end of his time on the bench. Ohio has an age limit law on judges that bars anyone over 70 to run. With Lynch receiving the nod, he extends his term until 2026. Also with Lynch’s victory, the governor will have to appoint a judge to fill the vacant spot left by Lynch.

Both candidates have experience in the field.

On the other hand, between Rice and Kovoor, Rice is the only candidate with prior experience on the bench. Kovoor, a Howland attorney, has tried for judgeships in the past. Both Kovoor and Rice were assistant prosecutors in the Common Pleas Court for Prosecutor Dennis Watkins in the 1990s.

“It’s been a tough year with COVID-19, and it was hard to reach voters,” Rice said. “I’m glad I won, but it was a tough race.”

Lynch and Kovoor ran in the Republican primary race, and Cannon and Rice ran in the Democratic primary race.

The 11th District comprises Ashtabula, Geauga, Lake, Portage and Trumbull counties. Of the counties, Rice won in Trumbull, Lake and Ashtabula. At the time of publication, Rice was leading in Portage County as well. Lynch won in, or was leading in, all five counties at the time of publication.

nhawthorne@tribtoday.com

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