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Government/Politics

Ohio Supreme Court justices, chief justice races set for November election

supreme court bench 3.JPG
Daniel Konik
/
Statehouse News Bureau

The lineups are set for three races for the Ohio Supreme Court this fall.

The six candidates for the three seats ran unopposed, but the court has proven to be a key player in the critical issue of redistricting.

Republican Justice Pat DeWine will face Democratic First District Court of Appeals Judge Marilyn Zayas. Republican Justice Pat Fischer will run against 10th District Court of Appeals Judge Terri Jamison.

Two incumbent justices will battle for the chief’s seat: Republican Sharon Kennedy, on the court for a decade, and first-term Democrat Jennifer Brunner. Both were elected in 2020.

The loser stays on the bench, so if the Republicans all win, the partisan balance on the court doesn’t change, though Republican current Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor has been a critical vote with Democrats against all the Republican-approved maps from the Ohio Redistricting Commission.

But if Brunner wins, Republican Gov. Mike DeWine will appoint a replacement, so the Democrats would have to beat DeWine and Fischer to shift the balance of the court.

This fall will mark the first time Ohio Supreme Court candidates will run with partisan labels following their names. A bill to require party affiliation for candidates was signed into law last year.

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