Few minorities pursue Erie County offices

Her political signs aren't much different from the many others popping up on lawns all across Erie County in recent weeks.
Andy Ouriel
Oct 27, 2012

It's a classy blue font on a white background: "Elect Beverly Hancock Juvenile Court Judge, Endorsed Democrat."  

On a recent expedition down Marlboro Street in Sandusky, where she lives, Beverly Newell Hancock was quick to tout her values and explain what she'd bring to the table if elected juvenile court judge.

She wants to curb gang violence, for instance, and she'd like to limit the amount of time juveniles spend in jail prior to their conviction.

She faces incumbent juvenile court Judge Robert DeLamatre, a Republican, at the polls Nov. 6.

There's not much difference in Hancock's political signs and DeLamatre's signs.

In one noticeable respect, however, Hancock is quite different not just from DeLamatre, but all the other candidates running for a contested political office in Erie County this fall.

Hancock is the only black candidate in the bunch.

Nine other white hopefuls — incumbents and newcomers alike — are running for various offices, including two county commissioner seats, the treasurer's spot and the judge's spot.

The shortage of black candidates is disproportionate to Erie County's black population, U.S. Census data shows.

About 9 percent of Erie County residents are black. That's roughly 6,700 of the county's 77,000 people, according to U.S. Census data.

If using the Census data as a measuring stick, about 1 in 10 of Erie County's elected officials should be black. The reality is only one of the county's 15 elected officials is black: clerk of courts Luvada Wilson.  

Voters never elected Wilson to her post. A judge appointed her to serve a 15-month term after her predecessor, Barb Johnson, died. Johnson was also black.  

Wilson is running unopposed Nov. 6, which guarantees at least one black person will serve in an Erie County office after Election Day.

The shortage of black political candidates is no surprise to Joel Lieske, a Cleveland State University political science professor.

"People tend to favor those who are most like themselves," Lieske said. "If a district contained a majority of non-white voters, white candidates would be disadvantaged."

Hancock said she realizes few blacks run for office in Erie County, but the notion hardly bothers her.

"I don't get up in the morning and say, 'I wish some black people were running so I could vote for them,'" she said. "But I would love to see more diversity in publicly elected offices."

She assumed, like many others, the election of U.S. President Barack Obama four years ago would inspire more blacks to run for public office.

While that hasn't happened in any major way, the country's minority population continues to make achievements elsewhere.

"We were always told as kids, 'You can be president of the United States,'" Hancock said. "A lot of black children may not have believed that — until Barack Obama came along. And now they believe."

Regardless of the outcome on Nov. 6, Hancock hopes to set an example for black residents in Erie County.

"Maybe I can inspire young girls and young boys to pursue their dreams, whether it's an attorney, for office or whatever dream they have," she said.

Total population                  Black population (percent)
Erie County  77,000              8.7
Ohio             11.5 million       12.4
U.S.              311 million        13.1
Source: U.S. Census




"she'd like to limit the amount of time juveniles spend in jail prior to their conviction."
ok so if John Doe is caught breaking and entering, she wants to keep him OUT of juvie so he can continue? Makes perfect sense. I sure hope she plans on throwing an ankle monitor on him and giving him house arrest until they are convicted


Let me explain it to you all: Minorities are "just not that into your politics" The end!



Are you talking the President Obama's politics ?


Oh sprinkles......don't start!


Just curious what is the percentage of black population in Sandusky?


Still keeping quiet...


Guess what race votes as a herd; 80 plus percent for one candidate?


In the debate, Hancock stated that she didn't know anything about juveniles but would have to hire someone to advise her on that. Translation: If you elect me, I'm going to have to hire someone to tell me how to do this job.

Really? Does the register want to legitimize this person as a candidate? Why not focus on Luvada Wilson who, from everything I've been hearing, has done an exemplary job after being appointed to the position we now have to vote her into. Hell, I have issues with D. Cole, but I have to give her props for standing up for the misdeeds she saw in the search for a new police chief.

Let's at least talk about qualified black candidates if we have to bring up the "race card" at all. I'm sure they are out there. Why aren't they running? Why didn't the Register seek them out?


Moderators have removed this comment because it contained Remarks that discriminate based on age, race, religion, disability, etc..


This will not turn out well. Take it down, SR.

Julie R.

Seems to me there was a woman attorney with the name of Hancock involved in the following but I'll have to look it up in my records to be sure.

It pertained to a fraud Preliminary Judicial Report that the joke Erie County courts used when they forced my deceased mother and stepfather's property -- property that they owned scot-free and clear of a mortgage for almost 40 years --- to be sold at a scam sheriff sale with serious defects in the title caused by the fraudulent transfer of my mother's half seven months before her death. The fraud Preliminary Judicial Report ~ prepared by a Cleveland title company ~ falsely stated there were no defects in the title. I then found out that a Sandusky abstract title company was involved in it. I found this out through an employee who obviously didn't know what she was giving away when she told me they did a title search prior to that (scam) sheriff sale and proceeded to tell me about all the fraud they found. It wasn't until I asked for a copy of it and she asked her manager that things got hairy. I could hear her manager going nuts in the background yelling at her --- she then came back to the phone and told me I could not have a copy. When I tried to serve a subpoena on them they actually locked their office door. After I tricked them into signing for the subpoena by sending it through the mail, they rushed out and hired an attorney, who requested Roger Binette quash the subpoena --- and of course Binette did.

If this is the same attorney, I sure won't be voting for HER --- but then after reading what West posted I had no intention of doing that, anyway.


When you point out you are avoiding someone's color because they HAVE color it is the same thing as being a racist in my book. I can't help but wonder why in the world the SR did this piece. To make matter's worse, this lady said something during the interview that made me really wonder if she knows what's going on? She wants kids to spend less time in jail prior to their convictions but I don't know how that is even possible?

Does she know what she is doing as a judge? I would have thought the reporter would have corrected the statement or asked her to clarify it before they printed that, but apparently the person did not. If I were she, I would be very upset upon reading that.

It seems she isn't ready for the bench, based just on that one statement. I don't think I could safely vote for her after reading that one little slip only because it seems to be such a large mistake, that I wonder why it wasn't caught. Most interviews are read before being printed. I think she would have caught that.

What a shame. Maybe with some time, but not right now.


Wow..I can see by all the positive comments that there is no Black/White problem there in my old hometown..Confirmation like that will surely keep me from ever wanting to return back. Hell I'll just stay south where the Rednecks and Haters walk around in the open and not hiding behind a laptop...Shame..because if I had to judge it by what i've read..there really are some wonderful people still left there..


This article has been taken totally out of context by some of you. There is no reason We as Americans can't have a conversation about race in politics. The article is not blaming anyone or trying to incite anything racist. It's just an article! Relax people, don't panic!
Digi... is right.....I prefer the out in the open racist.......it's better to know!


So are you admitting your a racist? Stand up and admit it. Be the first!


You know why racists are evil? Because they actually think something like skin color makes a difference. Think about that for a minute, and when you do, you'll realize something ELSE: That there are supposed "do-gooders" out there who are just as racist, just as damaging, and just as wrong as the most out-of-the-closet "redneck" hater is.

In this particular political race (no pun intended), voters need to determine whether they believe that Ms. Hancock is qualified or not, and then whether or not she's the MOST qualified candidate or not. What does the fact she's black have to do with it? No more, I don't think, than the fact she's a woman. So far, nobody's demonizing her opponent because he's white and a man, but it appears there are some who might try to ELEVATE her because she's not. Again, is she qualified? Is she the MOST qualified? There. Depending on your answer, you've got your vote. Simple, eh? Or at least it ought to be...

Martin Luther King, Jr. was right when he hoped for a day when his children might be judged by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin. For true equality to emerge, that must hold true from BOTH ends of the debate spectrum.

Julie R.

Who really cares what color a person's skin is. The FEDS got two judges in Cuyahoga County for fixing cases. One was a white female judge and one was a black male judge. Russo also testified there were at least 8 or 10 other judges that did the same thing but haven't heard a word about it since.

As an afterthought, you can bet those eight or ten other judges were WHITE.

Julie R.

I'm still waiting to hear the answer to this question:

In the majority of Ohio's 88 counties, the Juvenile Court judge also serves as the Probate Court judge, yet in Erie County the Probate Court judge also serves as a Common Pleas Court judge. So how can that be when a Common Pleas Court judge is an elected position? Also, according to one of the commenters, Tone and Binette are handling probate cases, yet according to the law the only time a Common Pleas Court judge can do anything pertaining to probate is if the Probate Court judge is unavoidably absent.

Somebody posted once that an attorney told him ---"There's the law....and then there's the law in Eeerie County."

He sure got that right! (but I already knew that from personal experience)

Swamp Fox

Julie R not understanding the legal system, what else is new.

Hopefully even Julie R can understand, in Erie County we know longer have a separate Probate Court. its duties were dispersed within the General Division of Common Pleas when the fourth judge was added as allowed by state law...

Julie R.

Really? This was allowed by state law? So could you please direct me to the number of this state law?


MLK was a hypocrit, he cheated on his wife with white hookers. And never went by his real name.

Swamp Fox

The 125th Session of the Ohio General Assembly House Bill#86 amended numerous sections of the ORC in the following manner to create the 4th judge in Erie County Common Pleas. When a judge is added by the Ohio House and Senate the bill that adds the judge can realign the court, and the courts responsibility can be changed. In the case of the Erie County 4th judge, the duties of domestic relations were removed from the Juvenile Court which had been a family court, with domestic relations moved to general division and the probate court duties also removed to general division with the docket split between the three general division judges. Each general division judge now can be assigned; criminal, civil, domestic relations and probate cases. The 4th judge is solely a juvenile judge due to the unique nature of juvenile law.

Julie R.

So you're trying to say that the 125th Ohio General Assembly House Bill #86 actually amended numerous sections of the Ohio Revised Code just so little Erie County could create a 4th judge in the Erie County Common Pleas Court? Give me a break. So what's the NUMBER for this "new" Ohio Revised Code that was amended specifically for Erie County?

...and besides, I thought the reason Erie County claimed they needed another judge i.e. Binette was to handle all the backlog of cases supposedly left by Judge Ann Maschari? If that were true, how does Binette and Tone have so much time to handle probate cases?

Swamp Fox

Julie R I will attempt to keep it very simple so even you understand. The three general division judges now handle a docket that was previously handed by only two judges that includes all non juvenile matters, one judge is designated as the clerk of probate (Judge McGookey) but she also has concurrent general division authority. And yes all changes to the courts and additional judges are created by specific legislative action, in this case ;

(125th General Assembly)
(Amended Substitute House Bill Number 86)

To amend sections 2151.07, 2301.02, 2301.03, and 3501.38 and to enact sections 2101.023 and 2101.024 of the Revised Code to add one judge to the Erie County Court of Common Pleas, to reallocate jurisdictional responsibilities of current judges of the Erie County Court of Common Pleas, ( it also added an additional judge in Logan County Common Pleas)

Julie R.

It says it added on an additonal judge as a common pleas court judge in Erie County, but where does it say that the common pleas court judges can also serve as probate court judges? Even better, where does it say that a probate court judge can also serve as a common pleas court judge?

Swamp Fox

Julie R if you can read and comprehend, which I have my doubts here it is;

Sec. 2101.023. The judge of the court of common pleas of Erie county who is elected in 2008, and successors, is the successor to the judge of the probate division of that court whose term expires on February 8, 2009, shall be designated as a judge of the court of common pleas, general division, shall have all the powers relating to the general division of the court of common pleas of Erie county, shall be the clerk of the probate court, and shall exercise concurrent jurisdiction with the other judges of the general division of the court of common pleas of Erie county over matters that are within the jurisdiction of the probate division of that court under Chapter 2101., and other provisions, of the Revised Code and all matters that are within the jurisdiction of the general division of that court, as set forth in division (N)(2) of section 2301.03 of the Revised Code of Ohio

Julie R.

I can not only read, I can also comprehend the law --- which is something your joke Erie County courts sure don't do. Read the comment I made on Saturday October 27, 2010 at 9:25 P.M. about that scam court-ordered sheriff sale of my deceased mother and stepfather's property through a scam partition action and a fraud Preliminary Judicial Report .... and then read the following law:

O.R.C. 5309.61 Partition and sale confirmed only on report of examiner of titles.

"In any suit or proceeding in any of the courts of record in this state in which registered land may be partitioned or sold, or the title any part thereof, or to any interest in, or lien or charge upon such land may be transferred or affected by the orders or judgement of the court, no confirmation of such partition, sale, or transfer shall be made by the court, or decree settling of affecting title entered, until there is first filed in the case the report of an EXAMINER OF TITLES to whom the matter shall be referred by the court for that purpose, showing that all persons necessary to such suit, or proceeding have been made parties and properly brought before the court and that the proceeding and sale have in all respects been regular and pursuant to law and the orders of the court."

Swamp Fox

Sorry I confused Julie R with FACTS, won't engage in her fantasy world...

Swamp Fox

Sorry I confused Julie R with FACTS, won't engage in her fantasy world...

Julie R.

What FACTS? A common pleas court judge just like a probate court judge are ELECTED positions. In other words, the clowns at the Erie County courthouse could not "appoint" McGookey to be a common pleas court judge any more than they could "appoint" Tone and Binette to be probate court judges.