After being nominated to the bench by Gov. John Kasich, Scioto County Prosecutor Mark Kuhn will be sworn in as the next adjudicator of the Scioto County Court of Common Pleas, General Division.
A swearing-in ceremony is set for 3 p.m. Thursday in Scioto County Courthouse Room 308 where Kuhn will be trying cases after he assumes duties July 9. Judge Matthew McFarland of the Ohio Fourth District Court of Appeals is scheduled to swear Kuhn into his new role.
Kuhn described his feelings upon taking a judge’s position as “bittersweet.” He added of course he is very excited about the opportunity.
“I actually have some mixed feelings about leaving the prosecutor’s office,” Kuhn said. “It’s an office where I think we’ve done some good.”
Kuhn added he has become very close with the staff of his office as well as many local attorneys.
Kuhn replaces Judge William T. Marshall, who resigned abruptly in March. Kuhn must win in this November’s election to retain his seat for the remainder of Marshall’s unexpired term which ends Dec. 31, 2020. Replacing Kuhn in the prosecutor’s office is a bit of a complicated process, according to Julie Gearheart, director of the Scioto County Board of Elections.
Gearheart said the Scioto County Central Committees of both the Democratic and Republican parties will be nominating someone to run for the position in November. Kuhn’s current term expires in January 2021. Kuhn said because he is a Republican, his party has the right to name his interim successor. They must do so between five and 45 days after the position becomes officially vacant July 9
In the meantime, both Gearheart and Kuhn said Scioto County Commissioners have the right to name an interim prosecutor until the Republicans can act. Kuhn said he expects commissioners will move to fill any vacancy in the prosecutor’s office.
Kuhn said he does not control who the Republicans tab to replace him. He did say Assistant County Prosecutor Shane Tieman applied for the position.
Kuhn is replacing Judge William T. Marshall, who resigned abruptly March 16.
Kuhn received his bachelor’s degree from Miami University and his law degree from the University of Toledo. He practiced civil law for 10 years, served as Portsmouth City Prosecutor for nine years, and is currently serving his third term as Scioto County Prosecutor.
He also served as a member of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney Association, the Scioto County Bar Association, the Southern District and Ohio Federal Judicial Nomination Commission, the Scioto County Budget Commission, and the Scioto County Records Commission.
Kuhn also has served for many years on the boards of the Southern Ohio Task Force and Domestic Violence and the Hospice Advisory Board.
For his part, Judge McFarland may be moving on as well. In October of last year, both of Ohio’s U.S. senators nominated McFarland to the White House for a federal judgeship. That nomination seems to have stalled since that date. McFarland referred questions to the offices of Ohio’s Sens. Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown, (D-OH.)
Because of the July 4 holiday, both offices stated they were at reduced staffing levels and declined to answer any questions on McFarland’s potential appointment to the federal bench.