I Will Vote For These Judges

I confess that in some elections, I’ve sometimes failed to do my homework and have left some judge choices blank.  In some judge elections, 50% of voters who vote at top of the ballot, skip voting for any judges. This year I am prepared.

The Dayton Daily News in an October 24 editorial made their recommendation for three judges.  I disagree with two out of three of their picks.

In the race for Ohio 2nd District Court of Appeals, the DDN chose Democrat Jeffrey E. Froelich.  But I’m going to vote for the Republican, George Reynolds.   The DDN chose Republican Dennis Adkins for the Court of Common Pleas, but I’m going to vote for the incumbent judge, Democrat Francis McGee.  The DDN chose Democrat Mary Wiseman for Court of Common Pleas, over her opponent Margaret Quinn.  In this race, I agree with the DDN and I’m going to vote for Judge Wiseman.

For Ohio’s Supreme Court, I intend to vote for Democrats Joseph Russo and Peter Sikora.

George Reynolds (R) v Jeffrey Froelich (D)

See the Dayton Bar’s Evaluation of these candidates here

The DDN says this about the 2nd District, “This court is the last word in many important cases in the region it presides over. (Voters in Montgomery, Greene, Miami, Clark, Champaign and Darke counties can vote in the contest.)  Unless a ruling from the Second District is appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court or federal court, a three-judge panel from this court has the final say on litigation where people are unhappy with the results they got in a lower court. In addition, appellate court decisions on complex issues or about untested legal arguments can become the grounds for decisions by other appeals courts and lower courts outside of the 2nd District’s jurisdiction.”

My choice for this important post is George Reynolds because I’ve known George for years, and he has always very positively impressed me.  George did some legal work for me and the quality of his legal insight was outstanding. George has the temperament, background, and wisdom that makes him a high quality candidate.

Judge Frolich, I’m sure, is also an excellent individual and a very high quality judge.  I just wish I didn’t have to choose between these two excellent choices, but, George Reynolds will get my vote because I know him personally and have a great respect for his character and ability.

The DDN says this:   “Magistrate Reynolds of Bellbrook is a first-time candidate for elective office. He has had a laudable legal career. Since 2001, he has been the chief magistrate for the Greene County Common Pleas Court, an appointed position in which he presides over an array of cases handed off to him from the judges in that court.

“Magistrate Reynolds graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and has a law degree from George Washington University. Before turning to private practice here in 2001, he worked as an attorney for the U.S. Air Force’s Judge Advocate General Corps at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and also for the North American Treaty Organization in Belgium.  Magistrate Reynolds, a Republican, will likely make a fine judge someday, but he is overmatched in this case by Judge Froelich, who is the best fit for the appeals court.

“Judge Froelich’s long tenure on the bench suits him for a job that involves reviewing lower courts to evaluate whether judges followed the law correctly in their decisions.”

Judge Francis McGee

Judge Francis McGee

Dennis Adkins (R) v Francis McGee (D)

See the Dayton Bar’s evaluation of these candidates here

My choice is Judge McGee. I recently visited with Judge McGee in her office for about an hour and was very impressed with her comments and outlook.  I came away convinced that Judge McGee is thoughtful, reflective and caring.  She strikes me as a person of empathy and insight.  She has served as Common Pleas Judge now for over a year and, I feel, she deserves a chance to continue.

Judge McGee emphasized to me that she often uses the prerogatives of the court to direct individuals into the type of self improvement that might help keep them from getting into future trouble.  Today’s DDN published a letter from Monty Reece, “McGee rulings have positive impact” that said,  “I am an instructor for a local Adult Basic Literacy Education program. One of my student’s attendance was mandated by Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Frances McGee, part of a requirement to enroll in a GED class to begin the pursuit of a diploma before the student’s December sentencing. … This student has become more aware of the value of education … McGee’s insistence that this student continue his education has made a huge difference in the student’s self-confidence and feeling of accomplishment.”

The letter concludes, “In my opinion, this is just one example of the positive impact that a decision by McGee has had upon our city. McGee is very concerned about our community and the impact the lack of education can have upon it. …”

The DDN reported that in the general division of the Court of Common Pleas, ten of the judges are white and Judge McGee is the only black judge in that division.  Judges should reflect the make-up of society, and, I think, without some compelling reason to do so, it would be a mistake to remove the only black judge in that division.

The DDN speaks glowingly of Dennis Adkins.  He, no doubt, would make an excellent judge, but, I’m convinced that Francis McGee is also an excellent judge and that she should be retained.  If McGee prevails, I’m sure there will be other judgeship opportunities for Adkins in the future.  He does seem deserving.

Margaret Quinn (R) v Mary Wiseman (D)
See Dayton Bar’ evaluation of these candidates here

My choice is Judge WisemanThe DDN says this: “Judge Wiseman has quickly established herself on the bench, drawing high marks from local attorneys for her handling of the notorious China Arnold case. The lawyers rated her almost as highly as Judge Froe-lich in a Dayton Bar Association poll. Respected as an attorney who handled many difficult cases, Judge Wiseman’s skills and experience have translated well to the court.”

“Ms. Quinn has also had a fine legal career. For 26 years, she worked as an attorney for the U.S. Air Force and in the U.S. Attorney’s office locally as a prosecutor. She also has handled difficult cases, including prosecuting notorious gangsters.

“But Ms. Quinn’s criticisms of Judge Wiseman don’t add up. Ms. Quinn argues that because she has more experience with criminal cases, she is a better fit for the job of Commons Pleas Court judge. But Ms. Quinn’s experience is nearly all in federal court. Judge Wiseman clearly has more expertise in state law.

“While Judge Wiseman has less criminal experience overall, she has done the bulk of her legal work in Common Pleas Court. And, as Judge Wiseman points out, the majority of the cases in her court are civil cases — her area of greatest expertise. The criminal cases may get the most media attention, but the nuts-and-bolts work of the court is heavily in the civil area.

Justice Maureen O’Connor (R) v Joseph Russo (D)
Supreme Court Justice

My choice:  Joseph Russo. At present, all seven of Ohio’s Supreme Court Judges are Republicans.  I think it is healthy to have both parties represented on the court.  Joseph Russo seems highly qualified and he has my vote.

Justice Evelyn Stratton (R) v Peter Sikora (D)

Supreme Court Justice

My choice is Peter Sikora. Again, it seems unwise to have only Republicans as judges on Ohio’s highest court.  Sikora is a Democrat and seems highly qualified.  He has my vote.

This entry was posted in M Bock, Opinion. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *