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Waldo throws his hat into judge#039;s race

Ironton attorney Kevin Waldo hopes to trade his suit for a robe and switch sides of the judicial bench.

The lifelong Irontonian filed a petition with the Lawrence County Board of Elections Thursday officially announcing his intent to run for the Ironton Municipal Judgeship. Waldo will face longtime Municipal Judge O. Clark Collins Jr.

Waldo turned in more than 500 signatures, double the 250 needed to seek the 6-year term that begins in January 2006.

"I feel like I can put my family values, honesty and integrity to benefit the people of Ironton in a fair and impartial fashion as a municipal judge," Waldo said. "Everyone is innocent until proven guilty and I will give everyone an equal shot at justice."

Ironton's court handles thousands of cases each year. In 2002, the court handled a total of 7,811 new cases, 5,558 were from traffic citations. The court also handled 1,553 criminal cases, 628 civil cases and 72 transfers from other courts.

Waldo, 49, is a 1973 graduate of Ironton High School and a 1980 graduate of Ohio Northern's law school. Practicing general law at his Ironton firm Waldo Law Office since 1980, he has served as an assistant Lawrence County Prosecutor for more than 16 years.

If elected Waldo said he would like to make some changes in the community service program to broaden the scope to encompass all of Lawrence County and also make some changes in the ways some money is spent in various court departments, adding that he would like

"It is a full-time position and I will dedicate all my time to it," he said.

Waldo has been married to wife Rayetta for 24 years. The couple has three daughters: Taylor, 20, Jenna, 15 and Haley, 8.