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Government and Politics

Coughlin wins Ohio Supreme Court fight over his run for an obscure office
Former state lawmaker wins a nonpartisan slot on the November ballot for Stow clerk of courts

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M.L. Schultze
Kevin Coughlin got unanimous Supreme Court backing to appear on the November ballot.
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Maverick Republican Kevin Coughlin will be on the November ballot as a nonpartisan candidate for  clerk of courts election for Stow Municipal Court. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze reports that’s thanks to a unanimous Ohio Supreme Court decision today.

LISTEN: Coughlin and the attention

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Former state Sen. Kevin Coughlin says everyone knows he’s a Republican. But in this case, he says he had the right to run for clerk of courts as a nonpartisan, and the state high court has agreed.

In doing so, it overturned a decision by the Summit County Board of Elections that kept him off the November ballot. He'd been challenged by a voter who said Coughlin had never disaffiliated himself from the GOP.

Coughlin says the months of fighting over his ballot access have actually paid dividends.


“It  did more to raise my name ID and more to raise awareness of this race … than anything we could have done. It’s a local election year, an off election year, so there’s not a lot of attention being paid over the summer to campaigns. …  A lot of people don’t’ know what know that the clerk of courts does, but thanks to the board of elections and what they did, we’ve gotten a lot of free media frankly. And we’ve gotten a lot of attention out there.


Coughlin acknowledges he’s still a Republican, though he says a feud with the Summit County Republican party has kept him from working with the local party since 2004. He had considered challenging Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown in 2012, but he withdrew from that race in 2011.   

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