BUCYRUS — The race for the Crawford County Probate/Juvenile Court Judge was close, but when all the votes were tallied, Republican Patrick Murphy beat his opponent Democratic candidate Debra Garverick, garnering 10,250 votes to Garverick’s 8,391.
Murphy was appointed to the position after the death of Judge Steven Eckstein in March. He took office in June and was looking to retain his seat.
“I’m glad (the election) is over,” Murphy said. “Debbie put on a valiant effort and made me work hard. I wish the best for Debbie and what she may do in the future.
“I want to thank my wife, my kids and my grandkids for their support and to all the other people who supported me,” he said. “I took this job on because after 40 years of working in Crawford County with children I see a denigration of the family unit. I think kids are in trouble. I think young adults don’t have the skills they should have to raise children and that’s why I’m going to work on life skills courses for our young adults and older children to help them with approaching life and getting out there and being productive.
Murphy spoke about his goals this week.
“I’m also going to push the issue of schools and truancy issues and I’m going to try and get the kids in and out of the system as soon as possible,” Murphy said. “I think the kids get stuck in the system and that’s terrible—mentally — for them to be in the system. Whether it be from neglect, abuse or dependency kids, or whether it be paternity cases where mom and dad are fighting for custody and visitation…these cases need to be resolved as soon as possible, and everybody benefits from that.
“And I just wanted to give something back and help the kids,” he continued. “I’ve been a lawyer for 40 years so I thought it was time for me to do this.
Murphy said he has already met with all Crawford County schools as well as the law enforcement agencies in regard to the issues of truancy and unruly kids.
“There’s a diversion program each school has to have before they can file charges and this court has to have a diversion program also, so I’m going to combine the diversion plans together, so I’m going to kill two birds with one stone an expedite the issue and get the kids back to school quicker,” he said.
“And I’m going to have a probation officer that’s also ex-law enforcement and he’s going to be serving people personally instead of waiting on the U.S. mail and that will also expedite the cases. And then I’m going to have an in-house home investigator which I think will expedite paternity issues and custody issues. I’ve already got that in the process.”