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Michael J Kemerer

Michael J Kemerer

Mansfield Municipal Court
Full Term Commencing Jan. 1, 2024

*Top Vote-Getter in General Election

Candidate Details

  • Residence
  • Email
  • Website
  • Social Media
  • Age
  • Occupation
    First Assistant Law Director for the City of Mansfield
  • Education

    University of Toledo College of Law, Toledo, OH, Juris Doctor (5/06)

    -Passed July 2006 Ohio Bar Exam

     Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH, Bachelor of Science (5/03)

    -Major - Criminal Justice

    Northwest State Community College, Archbold, OH, Associate of Science (5/01)

    -Major - Criminal Justice

  • Work Experience


    City of Mansfield, First Assistant Law Director (10/07-Present)
    -Supervised multiple attorneys and support staff
    -Prosecuted adult misdemeanor cases
    -Handled multiple appellate cases
    -Provided training to various law enforcement agencies

    Village of Bellville, Criminal Solicitor (8/21-Present)
    -Represented Bellville in Mayor’s Court Cases
    -Provide legal direction to officers and
    -Provided training to the police department

    North Central State College, Adjunct Faculty (9/09-Present)
    -Professor of: Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility, Probate Law, Family Law, Legal Research and Writing, Real Estate Law, Litigation, Torts, Office Management, Bankruptcies, Business Law, and Criminal Law
    -Provided real estate law instruction for license certificate program

    City of Mansfield, Assistant Law Directorn(12/06-10/07)
    -Prosecuted adult misdemeanor cases
    -Interviewed witnesses and victims

    -Toledo Municipal Court, Crimes of Violence Against Women (COVAW) Intern/Attorney(3/05-12/06)
    -Assisted with domestic violence prosecutions and related cases
    -Conducted pleas, bench trials, and jury trials
    -Interviewed witnesses and victims

  • Family
    Married with one child
  • Affiliations


    Knights of Columbus, 3rd Degree Member (9/23-Present)

    Buckeye Boys State Consultant (6/22-Present)

    Rotary Club of Mansfield, Rotarian (11/21-Present)

    Mansfield Memorial Homes, Board Member (10/18-Present)

    Richland County Young Republicans, Vice President, Founder Emeritus (6/18-9/22)

    Richland County Republican Party, Central Committee (5/18-9/22)

    Sacred Heart School, Parish School Board Member (8/18-5/22)

    Richland Young Professionals, 10 Under 40 Award Recipient (4/18)

    The Shelby Foundation, Volunteer (9/14-Present)

    Richland County Bar Association, Admissions Committee Chairperson (1/08-12/10)

    Federalist Society, Student Member (8/03-5/06)

    Buckeye Boys State, Delegate (6/98)

  • Endorsements

    My experience and work ethic have earned me the endorsements of the following respected individuals and organizations:  

    Richland County Commissioner Darrell Banks

    Ontario 3rd Ward City Council Member Sherry Branham

    Bellville Mayor Teri Brenkus

    Former Richland County Prosecutor Gary Bishop

    Mansfield 1st Ward City Council Member Laura Burns

    Republican State Central Committee Member Josh Brown

    Carpenter's Local Union No. 735

    Richland County Humane Society Managing Director Linda Chambers

    Mansfield 5th Ward City Council Member Aurelio Diaz

    Mansfield Council President David Falquette

    Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #32

    Bellville City Council Member Jason Guilliams

    Former Huron County Sheriff Dane Howard

    State Representative Marilyn John

    Laborers' International Union Local 1216

    Richland County Commissioner Cliff Mears

    Ontario Law Director Andrew Medwid

    Richland County Republican Party

    Richland County Republican Women

    State Senator Mark Romanchuk

    Richland County Sheriff Steve Sheldon

    Richland County Prosecutor Jodie Schumacher

    Richland County Commissioner Tony Vero

    Former Bellville Police Chief Ron Willey

Photo of Michael J Kemerer Michael J Kemerer

Question 1

List your judicial experience (courts and years)

Despite working in the Court I am running for full-time, it has been in a prosecutorial role, not a judicial one. That said, working in my current position has given me an unobstructed view of the Mansfield Municipal Court for nearly 17 years.

The Court handles around 20,000 cases each year. That’s 20,000 chances to do the right thing; 20,000 chances to make a difference. The Court’s high volume demands proven experience and unwavering dedication to this community, and I am that person.

For nearly 17 years, I’ve worked full-time in the Mansfield Municipal Court through my role as an Assistant Law Director. While many other attorneys handle the occasional case or cases in the Court, they aren’t here full-time, so I’ve worked on more cases and had more trials in Mansfield Municipal Court than any other attorney over that time. 

For 16 of the last 17 years, I’ve been in the supervisory position of First Assistant Law Director. This has given me the honor to oversee and guide other attorneys and support staff. With the Court commanding a staff of nearly 30 dedicated employees, this supervisory experience is invaluable.

Question 2

What non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?

I chose my career to help others and protect the community, but beyond my role in the Law Director’s Office, I’ve consistently sought out other opportunities to give back and do good for others.

When North Central State College put out the call for adjunct faculty in 2009, I applied, and I’ve been able to share the benefits of my experience with countless students over the last 14 years. The Court doesn't just punish, it also educates and rehabilitates, so this experience as an educator is invaluable.

When Mansfield Memorial Homes needed to fill Board seats, I joined the Board because I’m care deeply about the concerns and struggles of the elderly. Many elderly are victims of crimes, so a demonstrated concern for this group of citizens is very important.

When Bellville needed a Village Solicitor, I happily took on that role because I knew my experience would give me the tools to be a great village solicitor. The Mansfield Municipal Court doesn't just handle cases from Mansfield, but out in the County and the villages, too, so an understanding of the needs of the villages leaves my ideally suited to preside with knowledge over those cases.

When my son’s school, Sacred Heart School, needed board members, I was voted onto the Parish School Board, and was proud to serve for years, including those years the school was navigating the Covid pandemic. Similarly, I joined the Rotary Club of Mansfield and the Knights of Columbus because I believe in the good work those two organizations do, and I regularly volunteer for The Shelby Foundation because that organization does so much good for Shelby and the surrounding area (actually, I shouldn’t get credit for this one – my wife is their Director).

From picking up litter downtown, to donating supplies to the Humane Society; from the good work of all the aforementioned organization and positions and countless volunteer opportunities in between, my dedication to this community I love is something I’m very proud of, and I firmly believe public servants should be dedicated to the community, otherwise they might lose sight of the service aspect of their job.

Question 3

Why are you running for this particular court seat?

Many attorneys practice in the Mansfield Municipal Court; they handle cases in the Court, but very few work full-time in the Municipal Court. Of those that do, I’m at the top of a very short list with 17 years of experience in the Mansfield Law Director’s Office. There’s literally no other attorney currently practicing who has spent more time, full-time, in the Court. For nearly two decades, I’ve worked on more cases and had more trials in the Court I’m running for than any other attorney. With around 20,000 cases passing through the Municipal Court each year, this experience is important. Further, for 16 of the last 17 years, I’ve been in the supervisory position of First Assistant Law Director, supervising other governmental employees, including 12 attorneys over the years. The Court has a staff of 29 people. Working full-time in the Court means I know all of them and have seen them work, and my supervisory experience and familiarity with all of the Court’s employees leaves me ideally suited for the managerial tasks of Presiding Judge.