Republican Party backs Abruzzino in judge’s race


LISBON — Republican voters will have two people to choose from for County Municipal Court judge during the May 7 primary election, but it appears the local Republican GOP has already made their choice.

At a meeting on Saturday, the Columbiana County Republican Party endorsed Vito Abruzzino as their candidate over fellow Republican Katelyn Dickey.

Columbiana County Chairman Dave Johnson said in a released statement, “We pride ourselves in a fair and open endorsement process. All candidates start on even footing. Vito is far and away the most prepared and qualified candidate for Municipal Court judge.”

Johnson called Abruzzino “exactly the kind of candidate the Columbiana County Republican Party helps cultivate. His well-rounded experience uniquely qualifies him for this position and the committee recognized and rewarded that.”

Abruzzino is a military veteran who said he has experience both in the Army and the U.S. Air Force Reserves. He is a partner at Harrington, Hoppe and Mitchell Ltd, which has an office in Salem. According to the HHM website, Abruzzino practices public sector law, probate and estates, civil litigation, real property law and family law.


He lives in Perry Township with his wife, Courtney (Pilch) and a daughter, Autumn. He is also the part-time director of the Eastern Ohio Military Affairs Commission focusing on building community support for the Youngstown Air Reserve Station and Camp James A. Garfield in Ravenna.

“It’s an honor to have the support of the Columbiana County Republican Party and so many conservative elected officials,” Abruzzino said in a released statement. “I have dedicated my entire adult life to serving others and I am excited to hit the ground running with my constitutional conservative message.”

Both Dickey and Abruzzino were at the breakfast meeting on Saturday at the Methodist Church in Lisbon. The Republican party endorsed other candidates as well, but the race between Abruzzino and Dickey is the only county-wide one on the May primary ballot.

“I’m a proud Republican,” Dickey commented on the county GOP decision. “And while I appreciate everything our local party does, President Trump showed everyone that it’s the people of Columbiana County that will make this important decision, not a committee of a few dozen people. I’m confident that voters in Columbiana County will hear my message and nominate me as their choice for Municipal Court Judge.”

Dickey currently serves as an assistant Columbiana County prosecutor and has previously served in the Columbiana County Court of Common Pleas as a probation officer, staff attorney and magistrate. She was valedictorian of her class at Crestview High School, graduated cum laude from Gannon University in Erie and earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Akron. She and her husband live in Elkrun Township where they are raising their two children.

Abruzzino and Dickey are vying to represent the Republicans on the ticket in November against the Democrat candidate K. Bret Apple of Salem. They are seeking the seat currently held by Judge Mark Frost, who will no longer be seeking election due to age requirement limits.