Five Franklin County Common Pleas Court seats up for grabs

Five of the 17 seats on the Franklin Common Pleas Court are up for grabs in the general election, including four featuring incumbents facing opposition.

One of the incumbents, however, appears to have an opponent in name only.

Judge Chris Brown’s challenger on the ballot, Michael E. Carleton, isn’t campaigning, hasn’t screened for endorsements and did not respond to requests from The Dispatch for an interview.

The other incumbent judges on the ballot are Jenifer French, challenged by Assistant Columbus City Attorney Andy Miller; Gina R. Russo, facing Sheryl Munson of the county Public Defenders office; and David Young, opposed by Michael J. Cassone, an attorney in private practice.

The fifth race is for a seat being vacated by the retirement of Judge William H. Woods. Vying for that opening are two lawyers in private practice: Carl Aveni and Josh Brown.

Russo was appointed to an unexpired term early last year and is running for an opportunity to serve the remainder of the term, which expires in January 2023.

Winners in the other races will get six-year terms on the court, which handles felony offenses and civil disputes involving more than $15,000. The annual salary for judges on the court is $150,183.