Responds to letter to editor supporting Judge Pike

To the editor:

How curious that a recent letter to the editor in support of Ashley Pike would be from a woman in Warren, Ohio who claims to have “great interest in politics” but who is not even listed as a registered voter in her hometown of Warren, or anywhere else in Trumbull County (www.boe.co.trumbull.oh.us / voter registration file).

It is also curious that this person would have specific quotations attributed to the Columbiana County Republican Chairman from Salem News articles published several years ago. Who would have such reference material readily at hand? Would Ashley Pike?

Whatever the case may be, let’s set the record straight relative to the Columbiana County Republican Party’s recent decision to endorse Megan Bickerton for Judge of the Common Pleas Court:

1) The local Republican Central and Executive Committee is comprised of elected precinct committeemen from all around the county. It includes poll workers, homespun volunteers, township trustees, village and city council members, mayors and all of the elected Republican county officials.

2) It is the statutorily prescribed duty of the county party committees, both Republican and Democrat, to nominate the most capable, most experienced and, yes, most electable candidates for public office, including for the various judicial posts of a county. The process of endorsing said candidates is regular order for not just the local county parties but political parties throughout Ohio and the nation, both Republican and Democrat.

3) Both Judge Pike and Atty. Megan Bickerton were invited to present themselves to the Columbiana County Republican Central and Executive Committee for the express purpose of being considered for endorsement. Bickerton earned this endorsement with 82 percent of the seated members of the Committee in a ballot vote that was counted jointly by the County Auditor and the Director of the Elections Board and supervised by the County Sheriff. Two thirds of the eligible members were present.

4) The notion that Atty Bickerton “has no judiciary experience” is ludicrous as are Ashley Pike’s false suggestions that she is a “part-time” prosecutor. Ashley Pike knows better. Atty. Bickerton, with her twelve years as a full-time county prosecutor, has completed some 16,000 cases in a court of law. She actually has substantially more trial experience than Ashley Pike did when he first ran for the office of judge. This is a matter of public record.

5) Above and beyond this whole qualifications and experience issue is the central and defining difference between Atty. Bickerton and Ashley Pike: only one of these candidates for judge has a plan to address the most serious criminal and public safety issue in the county. That candidate is Atty. Megan Bickerton. Her plan is to establish a drug court at the Common Pleas level that will elevate and place a laser focus on the rampant illegal drug trafficking crisis that has enveloped this county. Pike has had the opportunity to do this. He has refused.

In the final analysis, it will be the Republican Primary voters of this county that will decide whether or not there is a need for change at the Common Pleas Court. Let’s not accept, at face value, the false assertions of some imposter from Warren, Ohio…or whoever put her up to it…which misrepresent the legal, orderly, open and fair manner in which this county’s Republican Party has conducted its nominating and endorsement proceedings.

David W. Johnson,

County GOP Chairman

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