STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – Voters have selected Struthers Municipal Court’s next judge.

James Melone won the race with just over 55% of the votes, according to unofficial returns.

He ran against Jennifer Ciccone, who was appointed to the position by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine following the resignation of Dominic Leone. Leone resigned after a visiting judge granted a protection order to Struthers Mayor Catherine Miller against him.

Ciccone was sworn in last month.

Melone won the nomination in May against first-term incumbent Leone for the Democratic nomination before Leone’s resignation. He says the difference was good old-fashioned campaigning.

“It’s about boots on the ground, doing the hard work every single day, and that’s what creates a good campaign. It’s about getting your message, getting it out to the voters,” Melone said. “You do it at their doorstep, you do it by knocking on doors, talking to people and having real conversations with people — and we did a lot of that.”

Melone has served as a magistrate for the last six years and spent 19 years in private practice before that.

“I guess they wanted to challenge me … we put a lot of work in,” Melone said. “I can’t be more proud of the work that we put in, of everybody that was here to help and support me.”

Melone will take over in his new seat on the bench in January.

Dave Sess contributed to this report.