Miller to become county’s first female judge

STEUBENVILLE – Michelle Miller will become the first female to serve as a Jefferson County Common Pleas Court judge.

Miller, 50, of 1218 township Road 156, Rayland, defeated Democratic challengers Craig Allen, 52, of 1117 Federal St., Toronto, and Lydia Spragin, 52, of 333 S. Fourth St. in Tuesday’s primary election, according to unofficial results from the county board of elections.

Miller received 4,163 votes, compared to the 3,908 for Allen and 639 for Spragin.

“I am so honored and overjoyed. I am so proud of the people who helped me run a positive campaign. I am so glad we took the high road,” she said in reference to negative campaigning.

Miller will be unopposed in the general election.

Miller became a registered nurse after graduating from the Ohio Valley Hospital School of Nursing in 1984. She worked as a registered nurse in Cincinnati hospitals, and received a political science degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1993. She was a legal nurse consultant at a Newport, Ky., law firm, specializing in medical malpractice cases. Miller received her law degree in 2001 from the Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law. She then worked in law offices through 2009, when she opened her own practice. She has been solicitor for the villages of Smithfield, Rayland, Tiltonsville and for Wells Township.

Miller has been a common pleas court magistrate in domestic cases since 2013.

Miller said the campaign was hard work.

“I worked from the top of the county to the bottom of the county and the entire county came together,” Miller said.

Miller said she wants to see the continuation of the drug court program but also must consider the financial resources that are available when making sentencing decisions.

(Law can be contacted at