Another Candidate Enters Race for Judge of Hardin County Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division

Posted on November 12, 2021

The Hardin County Board of Elections certified the petitions of Magistrate Maria Santo as a Republican candidate for the May 3, 2022 primary election for the newly created Hardin County Common Pleas Court, Domestic Relations Division, Judgeship.

Maria has been serving as the Magistrate in both the Juvenile and General Divisions of the Hardin County Common Pleas Court since January, 2012, after being appointed by Judges William Hart and James Rapp.

For the past 7 years Maria has divided her time as the Magistrate of the Hardin County Common Pleas Court between Judge Scott N. Barrett in the General Division and
Judge Steve Christopher in the Juvenile Division. Maria has presided over numerous family law, juvenile and civil matters during her appointment.

“I am the only candidate who has the vast experience for this new Judgeship since the majority of my current responsibilities are being merged into this unique position. I have been doing the job as Magistrate for almost 10 years and will be ready on day one to perform the judicial duties without any disruption of court services to the public.”

Maria has a wealth of knowledge and experience spanning her 34 year career. Prior to being appointed Magistrate she served as an Assistant Hardin County Prosecuting Attorney for 3 ½ years, being the Chief Assistant Prosecutor for 2 ½ years handling murder, rape, burglary and drug offenses.​

Maria engaged in private practice for 20 years as a trial and appellate attorney handling juvenile, domestic relations, criminal and civil cases. She also was an Adjunct Staff Attorney at the Ohio Northern Legal Clinic in Lima for 2 years supervising third year law students drafting legal documents and appearing in court.

Maria was a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Ralph D. Cole and Honorable Thomas F. Bryant at the Third District Court of Appeals in Lima for 2 ½ years.

Maria appeared as a trial and appellate attorney before the Ohio Supreme Court, Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals (Cincinnati), U.S. Federal District Court (Toledo), the Third District Court of Appeals (Lima), the Sixth District Court of Appeals (Toledo) and the Municipal and Common Pleas Courts in Allen, Auglaize, Hardin, Hancock and Putnam Counties.

Maria is an active member, and the past president, of the Hardin County Bar Association, the current president of the Inns of Court at ONU, a member of the Phi Alpha
Delta Law Fraternity and the Ohio Magistrate’s Association. She has been an active member of the Hardin County Republican Party for more than 2 decades.

Maria earned her Juris Doctorate degree in 1987 from Ohio Northern University and Bachelorette of Arts in 1983 from Seton Hall University. She is licensed to practice law in the states of Ohio and New Jersey, the United States District Courts of Ohio and New Jersey,
and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Maria has resided in Ada for 37 years and chose to make Hardin County her home.

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