Leonard Hazelett and Sherri Bevan Walsh had a falling out four years ago. He points to his concern as an assistant prosecutor in her office about orders to proceed with a case he found flawed. She raises questions about his temperament. Now Hazelett is challenging Walsh in the Democratic primary as she seeks a fourth, four-year term as the Summit County prosecutor.

If all of that sounds too personal, the race does feature differences in policy and direction for the office. In the end, Walsh makes the stronger argument for the office.

We recommend the election of Sherri Bevan Walsh on March 6.

Walsh points with pride to her record, and there are reasons to do so. A determined approach to child-support enforcement (advanced by Hazelett during his time on the staff) has resulted in an additional $25 million directed to children. Walsh argues persuasively that a modern prosecutor must reach out to the community. She cites her team as the “best ever” during her tenure.

This editorial page has disagreed sharply with Walsh, most notably, in the Kelley Williams-Bolar case, the pursuit of a felony conviction an episode in familiar prosecutorial excess. (The conviction eventually was reduced to a misdemeanor by Gov. John Kasich.) A prosecutor does well to recognize how powerful the office is, equipped to deprive citizens of their liberty. It hardly helps, then, to succumb to overcharging or fail to consider more readily that the office is capable of errors.

Hazelett, an attorney in the Portage County public defender’s office since 2008, makes a variation on these points and also stresses that Walsh would do well to reduce her staff. He pledges to slice 20 percent from the office budget. Actually, Walsh has trimmed, and assistant prosecutors hardly rate among the overpaid.

After 12 years in office, Walsh benefits from having to defend her record against a vigorous opponent. The criticism shouldn’t be dismissed. She has performed well enough. In a fourth term, the test becomes whether the drive remains to get better.