The first week of November can mean different things to different people. To a child it is a reminder that Christmas is only a month away, to a college student it is the beginning of the end for their fall semester, and for an adult it is a sign that another year of their life is about to end.
For all Americans who are eligible to vote, it is also election time. This year, it might also mean a change in many of the governing bodies of Ohio.
People all around Ohio will be ready to vote on their favorite candidate, hoping that they will be elected into office. Although many people know the candidates who are running against each other, few know the candidates that are running unopposed.
When asked about the upcoming elections, most people start thinking about the elections that are contested.
One person asked was Brandon Poling, a junior at John Carroll University. When asked if he could name any positions up for election, the only one he could think of was governor. When asked to name candidates who are running unopposed, he could not think of anyone.
Many other college students had similar views. When asked why he thought people would not run against certain candidates, John Carroll University junior Mackenzie Cleary said, “Once somebody wins once, people are discouraged to run against them.”
One candidate running unopposed in this election is Judge Nancy A. Fuerst. She works for the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court and has run unopposed the past two terms. She attended Cleveland Marshall College of Law, then passed the bar exam at age 37. She was first elected as a judge in 1996, was re-elected the next two terms, and is currently running unopposed.
On the website, Judge4Yourself.com, Fuerst has an “excellent” rating of 4. Judge4Yourself.com is a website that rates candidates on integrity, judicial temperament, diligence, professional competence, and community understanding. The website is run by the Judicial Candidates Rating Coalition, which includes four local bar associations.
Fuerst, a Democrat, comes from a family that has “a long tradition of public service,” she said in an email. Her father, Norman A. Fuerst, her cousin Gerald Fuerst and her uncle Leonard Fuerst were all either judges or clerks of courts.
“I am quite proud of this tradition and do all I can to serve well,” she said.
When asked why candidates often run unopposed, Fuerst said that it could be because of the short time judges have to raise money for their campaigns, their political affiliations, or their current popularity with the public.
“I look forward to serving for another six-year term and am pleased to have the confidence of the public that the job is being well done,” said Fuerst.
John Carroll University student Vince Lanese says that he decides to vote for a candidate based on their personality. “I still want to have a reliable, trustworthy and honest candidate in charge,” said Lanese.
No matter how heavily someone campaigns, it is ultimately the people of this state who decide who gets voted into office. Whether running opposed or running unopposed, when Nov. 4th arrives, the citizens of Ohio will cast their votes for the candidates they want in office.