COLUMBUS — Two well-respected Democratic jurists with decades of judicial experience — Appellate Court Judge Cynthia Rice of Warren and Common Pleas Court Judge John P. O’Donnell of Cleveland — today filed to run for two open seats on the Ohio Supreme Court.
“In recent years, we’ve seen the Court uphold the most gerrymandered map in the history of Ohio, while siding with special interests to allow strip mining and drilling in state parks and uphold outrageous for-profit charter school contracts,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “It’s time to bring much needed balance and experience, and less politics, to the Ohio Supreme Court.”
Judge Rice served as a county and federal prosecutor in Trumbull and Mahoning Counties, prosecuting major criminal cases from murder and rape to illegal drugs and cyberstalking. Since 2003, she has served on Ohio’s 11th District Court of Appeals, heard more than 3,000 cases and written more than 1,100 opinions. She has also served as a visiting judge on the Supreme Court of Ohio, as well as in the Second, Seventh and Ninth Appellate Districts.
Judge O’Donnell has served on the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court since 2002. Prior to his service he worked in private practice and as an insurance adjustor. Throughout his tenure he has written more than 100 opinions in the areas of banking, real estate, retail and energy. A graduate of the Cleveland Marshall School of Law, he is a member of The Ohio Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and serves on the board of directors for the Cleveland Law Library Association.
In contrast to Judge Rice’s and O’Donnell’s decades of experience, Republican-endorsed candidates Pat DeWine and Pat Fischer have served less than half that amount of time on the bench. Neither has criminal law experience. This is the sixth different office DeWine has run for over the last 12 years.
“If Ohio wants an experienced prosecutor and long-time judges on the Ohio Supreme Court, not politics as usual, the choice here is very clear,” Pepper said.