Another local attorney is throwing her hat in the race for a judge seat in the Butler County Court of Common Pleas.
Nicole Thurner currently owns and operates a small practice in Valencia, focusing primarily on family and juvenile matters. She started her legal career serving as a judicial law clerk for Butler County Court of Common Pleas Judge Kelley Streib, where she says she observed the inner-workings of the Butler County family and juvenile court systems.
“My passion for that system grew while I was with her (Judge Streib),” Thurner said in an interview Tuesday. “I learned a ton with regard to the juvenile system, which I am very much apart of at this point in my career as well.”
Following her clerkship, Thurner began working with a small firm in Valencia, Middlesex Township, where she expanded the firm from its real property and estate practice to include a family and juvenile practice. She purchased the firm in 2017 and has continued to own and operate it as a small practice, focusing primarily on family and juvenile matters. She currently serves as a parent advocate in many cases involving Children and Youth Services, and is actively involved in the Family Engagement Initiative, a statewide initiative working toward the betterment of the child welfare system in Pennsylvania.
Thurner graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Sociology. She then attended Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, where she worked multiple jobs, and held several internships, including a position with the National Adoption Center, now known as the Family and Youth Law Center.
Thurner plans to continue her community involvement and hopes to be able to positively serve the community as the next elected judge, following the example of judicial professionalism set by Judge Marilyn J. Horan.
“Her judicial temperament and commitment to community made Judge Horan an extraordinary member of the bench in Butler County,” Thurner said in a news release announcing her candidacy. “I pledge to ensure that the residents of Butler County are served in an efficient and compassionate manner, upholding the Constitutions of the United States and the Commonwealth, while treating every individual with fairness and respect. This has always been my aspiration and after thoughtful consideration, I have decided to pursue this opportunity to serve where I began my law career, here in Butler County.”
Thurner is the fourth candidate to come forward in this race. Local attorneys Tom Breth, Jennifer Gilliland Vanasdale and William “Wink” Robinson have also announced their candidacies for the position.
The Butler County judge seat was vacated by Judge Marilyn Horan last year when she was confirmed as a federal judge.
Thurner resides in Mars.