STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – There is only one contested primary race for judge in Mahoning County.

Mahoning County Magistrate James Melone is challenging first-term incumbent Judge Dominic Leone for the Democratic nomination.

Melone has served as Magistrate for the last six years and spent 19 years in private practice before that. He says the person serving as judge is essentially the public “face” of the Struthers Court.

“If I’m out at a public event, if I’m out at a judicial conference being somebody that the people of the court district can be proud that I’m the person out representing the court, and I think that I can do all of those things at a high level,” Melone said.

Although we made repeated attempts to interview Judge Leone, he declined. He did, however, sent a list of priorities if he’s re-elected including setting up a special Veterans Court, creating a victims’ advocacy program and improving the court’s technology.