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Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Despite Big Trump Win in Ohio, Democrats Pick Up Seat on Ohio Supreme Court

Posted By on Wed, Nov 4, 2020 at 7:37 AM

  • Steven Miller/FlickrCC

Ohio, as it turns out, wasn't much of a swing state in reality, with Donald Trump currently leading Joe Biden by about 8 points with 90% of all votes tallied as of early Wednesday morning.

Republicans also will pick up two seats in the Ohio House and maintain their supermajority despite the lingering stench of the HB6 scandal hovering over the statehouse.

But Democrats did flip one seat on the Ohio Supreme Court.

While the GOP will maintain a majority that they've enjoyed for 35 years running now, the gap has narrowed from 5-2 to 4-3 after Democrat Jennifer Brunner, the former Ohio Secretary of State who currently serves on the 10th District Court of Appeals, unseated current Ohio Supreme Court Justice and Republican Judith French last night.

Sharon Kennedy came out ahead in her race against Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O'Donnell, most well-known for his decision in the Michael Brelo bench trial. O'Donnell previously ran for and lost races to join the state's high court in 2014 and 2016.

Both Republican incumbents outraised their Democratic opponents.

While the Ohio Supreme Court's rulings touch the everyday lives of many Ohioans, this year's race had taken on added significance as the court is expected to have to weigh in on redistricting maps that will be drawn next year based on the results of the 2020 Census.

Ohio Democratic Party Chair David Pepper said in a statement he was hopeful the impending court lineup will push back on the GOP's efforts to gerrymander the state: “With Justice-Elect Brunner, Justice Melody Stewart and Justice Michael P. Donnelly serving on the state’s highest court and joining Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who voted against the current district map, we’re confident that a majority of the court would stand in the way of any attempt to defy the Ohio Constitution’s new restrictions on partisan gerrymandering."

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