© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Ohio's First Elected Latina Judge Installed

Judge Marilyn Zayas is sworn in by Judge Beth Myers (right) as her mother stands by her side.
Judge Marilyn Zayas is sworn in by Judge Beth Myers (right) as her mother stands by her side.

Judge Marilyn Zayas was sworn in Monday morning to the First District Court of Appeals. She is the first Latina elected as a judge in Ohio. Speaking during her investiture ceremony, Zayas recognized others that have come before her.

"At some point there would have been the first Irish judge," she says. "There would have been the first German judge, the first female judge, the first African American judge. Every first that came before me has laid a stepping stone so that there will be more firsts after them. I have to acknowledge that and thank every first that came before me because they're the ones that also allowed me to be here."

Zayas, a Democrat, stunned the local Republican Party by winning in her first bid for elective office over an established Republican opponent in Judge Peter Stautberg, a former state representative. Stautberg had been appointed to the First District Court of Appeals by Gov. John Kasich in March 2015. 

Zayas took the oath of office with her mother by her side. She called the moment profound and something she had never dreamt of as a child growing up in New York.

She concluded her remarks with a commitment: "I will serve this county. I will look at every case that comes before me. I will look at it carefully. I will consider everything. And I will be faithful to the law."

Copyright 2021 91.7 WVXU. To see more, visit 91.7 WVXU.

Tana Weingartner earned a bachelor's degree in communication from the University of Cincinnati and a master's degree in mass communication from Miami University. Most recently, she served as news and public affairs producer with WMUB-FM. Ms. Weingartner has earned numerous awards for her reporting, including several Best Reporter awards from the Associated Press and the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and a regional Murrow Award. She served on the Ohio Associated Press Broadcasters Board of Directors from 2007 - 2009.