Candidates

Three seats on the Ohio Supreme Court are on the General Election ballot on November 8, 2016. Each justice elected to the court serves a six-year term.

  • Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor is running for reelection. She is unopposed.
  • Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger is retiring. Running for that seat on the court are Pat Fischer and John P. O’Donnell..
  • Justice Paul Pfeifer is also retiring. Running for that seat on the court are Cynthia Rice and Pat DeWine.

Pat Fischer

Pat Fischer

Patrick “Pat” Fischer is an Appellate Judge of the Ohio First District Court of Appeals, first elected in 2010 and reelected in 2012. His legal career began as a clerk for U.S. District Court Judge William Bertelsman after which he went into private practice with a Cincinnati law firm.

Fischer currently serves on the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission as vice-chair of the commission’s committee on the judicial branch. His previous experience includes serving as president of the Ohio State Bar Association. Judge Fischer received his undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University.

As a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court, Judge Fischer is endorsed by the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice.

Pat DeWine

Pat DeWine

Pat DeWine serves on the First District Court of Appeals, based in Cincinnati. Known for the quality and thoroughness of his written legal opinions, DeWine reflects his strong belief in judicial restraint and his respect for the constitutional roles of the other coequal branches of government.

Prior to his 2012 election to the Appellate Court, DeWine served as a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge. Previously he was in private practice in Cincinnati.

DeWine’s undergraduate degree is from Miami (OH) University. His law degree is from the University of Michigan, where he graduated in the top ten percent of his class. After law school, he served a clerkship on the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals under Judge David Nelson. His current activities include teaching law and political science as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati.

As a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court, DeWine is endorsed by the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice.

Maureen O'Connor

Maureen O'Connor

Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor is the tenth chief justice and the first woman in Ohio history to lead the Ohio judicial branch. She first joined the Supreme Court as a justice in 2003 and was reelected in 2008. Raised in Strongsville and Parma, Chief Justice O’Connor’s career in public service and the law spans three decades and includes service as a private attorney, magistrate, common pleas court judge, prosecutor and Supreme Court justice.

Prior to her election to the Supreme Court, O’Connor was Lieutenant Governor of Ohio. In that office she served as the governor’s chief advisor on criminal justice issues as well as director of the Ohio Dept. of Public Safety, chair of Ohio’s Security Task Force and the State Building Security Review Committee.

O’Connor earned her undergraduate degree from Seton Hill College and her law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

As a candidate for reelection, Chief Justice O’Connor is endorsed by the Ohio Alliance for Civil Justice.

John D'Donnell

John P. O'Donnell

Judge John P. O’Donnell has served on the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas since 2002. In 2008, Judge O’Donnell was selected by the chief justice of the Supreme Court to preside over a commercial docket devoted strictly to business litigation. Since then he has been responsible for over 2,000 commercial cases while still handling all other varieties of civil lawsuits and a felony criminal docket.

O’Donnell was raised in Euclid. He earned his undergraduate degree from Miami (OH) University and his law degree from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Upon earning his law degree, he worked as a civil trial attorney until being elected to the bench.

O’Donnell was defeated by Justice Judith French in a 2014 campaign for the Supreme Court.

Cynthia Rice

Cynthia Rice

Judge Cynthia Westcott Rice serves as an Appellate Court Judge for the Eleventh District Court of Appeals and is currently the presiding judge for that court. She was first elected in 2002 and is now in her third term.

Judge Rice earned a B.S. degree from Purdue University, Krannert School of Management. She attended law school at the University of Akron School of Law.

Rice has served as a visiting judge on the Ohio Supreme Court as well as in the Second, Seventh and Ninth Appellate Districts. She is currently co-chair of the Criminal Law and Procedure Committee and also serves on the Ohio Judicial Conference’s Executive Committee and Appellate Law and Procedure Committee.