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Looking ahead to 2012

Incumbents, one newcomer file in Lawrence County judicial, legal races

Lawrence County’s legal and judicial arena may look very similar to its present-day makeup, even after the 2012 election. Thus far, three incumbent officeholders have filed to run for office next year.

A fourth candidate may be new to elective office but is well known to the judicial system.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Charles Cooper, a Republican, has filed the necessary documents to seek a second six-year term.

Fellow incumbent Jeff Lawless is seeking his second term as Lawrence County Sheriff. Lawless cited his commitment to public service and his experience in law enforcement — more than 25 years in the sheriff’s office alone — as key reasons why voters should return him to office.

“I enjoy dealing with the public and I hope I’m making a positive difference in Lawrence County,” Lawless said. “I’m proud of our fight against drugs and I want to continue to work to make Lawrence County a safe place to live.”

Also, Dr. Kurt Hofmann is seeking his second four-year term as coroner. He is the only candidate thus far who may have opposition from within his own party.

Dr. Rodolfo Canos and Dr. Kimberly D. Lauder, both Republicans, have picked up a petition to run but have yet to turn in those petitions.

With Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier, Jr., retiring after 20 years in office, one of his assistants, Brigham Anderson, has filed to replace him.

Anderson, who has eight years experience, said he believes he can continue to make a positive contribution to the county’s criminal justice system. He said he hopes to continue the office’s fight against the drug trade.

“Drug and alcohol abuse is a huge problem,” Anderson said. “I would say 85 to 90 percent of the crimes we see are in some way drug or alcohol-related. I hope to find some creative ways to combat this problem.”

Anderson said he also wants to use new technology to improve supervision of all the cases going through the county’s three courts, Ironton Municipal Court, Lawrence County Municipal Court and Lawrence County Common Pleas Court.

Thus far no Democrats have filed to run for any of the aforementioned offices.

The deadline to file to run in 2012 is Dec. 7.