Judge of the Court of Common Pleas General Division


Background about the Office:

  • Candidates for this office are nominated in Primary Elections and elected in General Elections of even years.
    • Independent candidates will only appear on the ballot in the General Election.
  • Each term begins on either January 1st, January 2nd, January 3rd, or February 9th following the election. (R.C. 2301.02)
  • Each term is 6 years. (R.C. 2301.01)
  • There are seven Judges of the Butler County Court of Common Pleas General Division.
    • This office will have 3 open seats on the ballot in 2018.
  • The salary for this office is $121,350.00 per year as reported by the Ohio Supreme Court (2014).

Current Elected Officials:

  • Greg Howard (seat on ballot in 2018)
  • Noah E. Powers II (seat on ballot in 2018)
  • Keith M. Spaeth (seat on ballot in 2018)
  • Jennifer R. Muench-McElfresh (seat on ballot in 2020)
  • Michael Oster (seat on ballot in 2020)
  • Charles Pater (seat on ballot in 2020)
  • Gregory S. Stephens (seat on ballot in 2022)

What are the requirements to run for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas General Division?

  • Candidates for this position must:
  • Live within Butler County.
  • Be a registered elector of Butler County.
  • Be at least 18 years of age. (OH Const. Art. V, §1, Art. XV §4) 
  • Cannot be 70 years or older on commencing date (OH Const Art. IV, §6(C))
  • Must be admitted to practice as an attorney in this state and have, for a total of at least six years preceding the commencement of the term, been engaged in the practice of law in Ohio or served as a judge of a court of record in any jurisdiction in the U.S., or both (R.C. 2301.01)
  • Attend a Judicial Candidate Campaign Practices Seminar approved by the Ohio Supreme Court's Board of Professional Conduct within a year before and no later than 60 days after being certified by the appropriate county board of elections.

How do I run for Judge of the Court of Common Pleas General Division?

  1. Complete petition form 2-GJ for party affiliated candidates or form 3-H for independent candidates. (Note: Petition forms should be printed on legal sized, 8 1/2" x 14" paper).
    • Use the Candidate Petition Guide for Partisan Primary Petitions before circulating your petition to prevent any errors that might disqualify you from the ballot.  
    • Independent and nonpartisan candidates should use the Candidate Petition Guide for nonpartisan petitions.
  2. Required signatures. (R.C. 3513.05, 3513.257)
    • Collect between 50 and 150 signatures for major party candidates
    • Collect between 25 and 75 signatures for minor party candidates
    • Collect between 861 and 2,583 signatures for independent candidates
  3. File petitions with the Butler County Board of Elections no later than 90 days before the date of the Primary election. (R.C. 3513.05, 3513.257)
    • Candidates filing for this office as independents must file their petitions no later than the day before the Primary Election.
    • Be sure to use the Filing Checklist before filing your petitions.
  4. Pay filing fee by check or with exact change of $80.00. (R.C. 3513.10(A) and (B))
What are the Campaign Finance Requirements?

All candidates running for office who spend any money, including their own personal funds must file a Designation of Treasurer (Form 30-D) and complete subsequent reports. Candidates for this office should file with the Butler County Board of Elections.


What are the Candidate Financial Disclosure Requirements?

All judicial candidates must electronically file with the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct (through the Ohio Ethics Commission's website) no later than thirty days before the first election that year in which their name appears on the ballot, unless they already hold a judicial office and must disclose by May15th for the office instead. (R.C. 102.02(A)4)(b))

Call Candidate and Ballot Services at 513-887-3700, ext. 3 with any questions or for more information.