Primary record, goal, reached by judicial candidate

LISBON — Judicial candidate Katelynn Dickey spent nearly $200,000 in winning the Republican primary election for Columbiana County Municipal Court judge.

Dickey spent $56,586 in the final two weeks leading up the May 7 primary election and afterwards, according to her post-election campaign finance, bringing her total to $199,632. Her primary opponent, party-endorsed candidate Vito Abruzzino, reported spending $21,450 in the final days, raising his total to $54,582.

The combined $254,214 spent by the candidates made it the most expensive primary race for county office in history. The old record of $61,432 was set in the 2018 primary race for county Common Pleas Court judge.

June 14 was the deadline for filing post-election campaign reports at the county elections board. Dickey’s report showed the vast majority of her contributions were in the form of loans from herself and her husband.

Dickey, who defeated Abruzzino 4,032 votes to 3,812 to win the Republican nomination, will face Democrat Bret Apple in the Nov. 5 general election. She has a campaign balance of $2,046 going into the fall campaign, compared to $9,976 listed by Apple in his report.

The Dickey-Abruzzino race was the only contested primary contest. In the race for the other county Municipal Court judgeship, Republican Tim McNicol reported a campaign balance of $6,548. His Democratic opponent, Heaven Guest, did not receive or spend enough to require she file a report.

The East Liverpool Municipal Court judgeship is also up this year, and neither candidate faced primary opposition. Incumbent Melissa Byers-Emmerling, a Democrat turned Republican, has a campaign balance of $5,718. Her opponent is Republican-turned-Democrat Dominic Frank, who reported a campaign balance of $4,465.

The county Democratic Party spent $2,036 in the final days of the primary compared to $30,500 by the county Republican Party. The Republicans have a campaign balance of $25,323, while the Democrats reported a $5,410 surplus.