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Democrats Get Three Seats On Ohio Supreme Court After Brunner Sworn In

Ohio Supreme Court Gavel statue
Creative Commons

The Ohio Supreme Court now has three Democratic justices for the first time since 1994, with the first statewide swearing-in to start the new year.

On her family's Columbiana County farm, Democratic former Secretary of State and appeals court judge Jennifer Brunner took the oath as justice from Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. Brunner's induction created a new balance of four Republicans and three Democrats on the Ohio Supreme Court.

“I campaigned hard to win because I was concerned about the future of the Court. And now that I’m here, I couldn’t be happier," Brunner said in a video of the swearing in.

Brunner defeated Judi French, who’d been on the state's highest court since 2013.

Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy was re-elected in the other Supreme Court race in November. She’s said to be looking at running in 2022 to replace O’Connor as chief justice, who must retire because of age restrictions in the Ohio constitution.