To Elect Him Probate Judge, David Brannon’s Mom Provided $200,000 For Slick TV Ads — But Arvin Miller Is The Real Deal

David Brannon, a 41 year old Republican attorney, has a big TV ad campaign — telling voters he has the experience needed to be Probate Judge — paid for with a $200,000 loan from his Mom. In The Vote411 Voter Guide, however, this young attorney reveals what these ads fail to mention: Brannon has had zero years experience as an active judge.

At left is Dwight Brannon, age 72, founder of “The Brannon Law Firm.” With him are his two sons who are partners in the firm: Douglas (age 44) and David (age 41). Their website advertises: “The Brannon Law Firm has represented clients throughout Ohio in all types of probate, will, trust and estate matters.”  The Brannon family runs the “Brannon Law Firm.” The June Finance Report shows that Brannon family has provided $200,000 to David Brannon to acquire the position of Probate Judge. This looks like a good investment for a law firm that represents clients in that court. The way that the Brannon campaign is burning through cash, I expect the next Finance Report will show the family has provided even more money for the David Brannon campaign.

In contrast, Democrat Arvin Miller is 65 years old and the Guide shows that he has had a lifetime of relevant experience as an active judge. The last twelve years Miller has served as Probate Magistrate — hearing and deciding cases under the supervision of the retiring Probate Judge — Republican Alice McCollum.

The June 5 Finance Report recorded at the Montgomery County Board of Elections shows that, at that filing, the David Brannon campaign had $200,089.99 to spend and that the Alvin Miller campaign had $30,475.01 to spend. Brannon lists only three contributors — plus a $200,000 input from Colleen Brannon. Miller lists 58 contributors — almost all for amounts $100 -$200.

David Brannon and his brother, Douglas, work as lawyers, along with their father, Dwight, in the “Brannon Law Firm.” Their website emphasizes that the law firm works with the Probate Court “in all types of probate, will, trust and estate matters.”  I’m sure it would be a big boost to the probate business of the “Brannon Law Firm” to elect David Brannon as Probate Judge. Such a boost, over time, I imagine, would be worth much more than the $200,000 investment in this campaign.

The work of a Probate Court extends far beyond financial areas. There are over 200 references to the work of a Probate Court in the Ohio Revised Code — including marriage license, adoptions, name changes. One huge demand on a Probate Court are issues dealing with “guardianship.” If your relative is acting crazy and you are worried he or she will either hurt him or herself or will hurt somebody else — or if Altzheimer’s has made your friend or relative incapable of handling his or her own affairs — the Probate Court is the last resort. If you are being treated unfairly in your effort to adopt a child — again, you will seek justice in the Probate Court. There are all sorts of complicated cases, often involving those least capable of defending themselves, that end up before the Probate Court.

On his website, Arvin Miller explains: “The probate court is not a typical court. It deals with numerous and complex social issues. It requires experience. … Probate court is responsible for protecting some of society’s most vulnerable individuals.”

Arvin Miller for the last twelve years has worked as a “Magistrate,” hearing and deciding cases in the Probate Court. He was selected for this position by the retiring Probate Court Judge, Republican Alice McCollum, and has worked closely with Judge McCollum on many complicated cases.

At age 65, Miller has had a lifetime or working with the vulnerable. Prior to working as Magistrate for the Probate Court, Miller served for eight years as a prosecutor, with Lee Falke; he also served eight years as a public defender. He has volunteered many, many hours of service to those unable to pay. These last twelve years, as a Magistrate in the Probate Court, he has heard and decided many complicated cases. It is this experience that sets him apart from 41 year old David Brannon, who, it appears, has worked mostly with wills and estates.

I’m impressed that at age 65, Arvin Miller is still out there running. My knees fizzled out before age 50. From his website: “On a peaceful Dayton morning you may see Magistrate Arvin Miller running through some of his favorite places in town. He’s been doing this most of his life. For him it’s more than a hobby; it’s a passion. This passion has been the guiding light through many of his endeavors. Through running you learn to push through, keep your goals in mind, and help those you see along the way who are on their own journeys. Arvin has taken these lessons with him in his law career and now in his run for Montgmery County Probate Judge.”

Miller writes: “I want to be  positioned to help those suffering from severe mental health issues; help protect the elderly and mentally challenged from abuse and neglect though guardianship; and see that children can find forever homes through adoptions.  Also, more recently, to help those suffering from chronic alcoholism and drug addiction receive necessary treatment.”

The Court, of course, deals with the money issues of wills and estates, but the Court is the last hope for many of our most vulnerable citizens to find good solutions to very complex problems. David Brannon’s expensive campaign fails to explain what a significant part of being a competent Probate Judge entails.

I’m voting for Arvin Miller because his 65 years have been devoted to service and because his life experiences has given him the wisdom needed for a Probate Judge.

Miller writes: “ I believe that it is important to give back to the community. My continued commitment to the Montgomery County community is shown by my work creating the nationally acclaimed Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project along with past and present board membership on a wide variety of community organizations. Being Probate Judge will allow me to continue to help the community address systemic problems facing the vulnerable citizens coming before the probate court.”

41 year old David Brannon’s campaign to be elected Probate Judge is similar to 33 year old K. George Kordalis’ campaign to be elected Common Pleas Judge. Both are young Republican attorneys with money to spend, but both lack the real life experience that a judge needs. Both are going against much older and much more experienced Democrats.  In the contest for Common Pleas Judge, 33 year old Republican K. George Kordalis admits he has zero experience but 51 year old Democrat Susan Solle list years of relevant experience. (See the Vote411 Voter Guide)

See:

The Brannon family runs the “Brannon Law Firm.” The June Finance Report shows that Brannon family have provided $200,000 to David Brannon to acquire the position of Probate Judge. This looks like a good investment for a law firm that represents clients in that court. The way that the Brannon campaign is burning through cash, I expect the next Finance Report will show the family will have provided even more money for the David Brannon campaign.

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