July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

ELECTION: Ex-Brunswick mayor challenging Wadsworth attorney in GOP primary for county judge

MEDINA — Tuesday’s Republican primary is pitting former Brunswick Mayor Gary Werner against Wadsworth attorney Michael Callow for a spot on the November ballot for a county judgeship.

The GOP winner will go up against Joyce Kimbler, 59, of Seville, who is unopposed in the Democratic primary. She is the wife of James L. Kimbler, who now holds the seat on the Medina County Court of Common Pleas but is not running for re-election.

Michael Callow

Michael Callow

Gary Werner

Gary Werner

Werner, who served as Brunswick’s mayor from 2010 to 2013, said he’s wanted to be a judge since he was in college.

“I had thought about being a judge for a very long time,” said Werner, 52, of Brunswick. “It’s the right time.”

Werner graduated from the University of California with a bachelor’s in economics in 1991 and obtained his law degree in 1994 from Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.

Prior to serving as mayor, Werner spent 10 years in Brunswick politics as a councilman, vice mayor and member of the zoning appeals board. In addition, he’s worked as a civil attorney at a law firm in Beachwood since 2004.

Werner oversaw Brunswick Mayor’s Court when he held that position, which handles lesser traffic and criminal offenses.

“The last 10 years, I’ve really been mostly a blend of public service and private practice,” Werner said. “I think I’ve been readying myself for this for 30 years.”

Callow also has wanted to be a judge for a long time.

“In my situation, we’ve been looking to stay involved in the court system,” said Callow, 43, of Wadsworth. “When Judge Kimbler announced he wasn’t seeking re-election, I thought it was time.”

Callow obtained a law degree from the University of Akron in 1995 and runs a private general practice in Wadsworth.

“I’ve done civil cases, criminal cases, domestic cases,” Callow said, “and I’ve been doing that in Medina County for 10, almost 11 years.”

In addition to practicing law, Callow is involved as a coach with Wadsworth youth sports and is a Sunday school teacher at St. George Church.

He said his experience is what motivated him to run.

“Becoming a judge is no joke. It takes a ton of experience to make those decisions,” Callow said. “You’ve got to be fair, and you’ve got to have that experience to know what’s fair.

“I’ve been preparing myself for 18 years.”

Contact reporter Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.

Nick Glunt About Nick Glunt

Nick Glunt primarily covers courts and crime in Medina County. He served The Gazette from September 2012 to December 2015. Contact him at (330) 721-4048 or via email at nglunt@medina-gazette.com.