In 2012, Ohio voters elected William O’Neill and Sharon Kennedy to the Ohio Supreme Court. Each defeated a well-regarded incumbent. What explained the feat?
It wasn’t money. O’Neill spent practically nothing on his campaign. Kennedy troubled many in the legal community because of her thin credentials. Sort through the possible explanations, and, eventually, the names seem to tell the story, the court already with an O’Connor and O’Donnell, and the name Kennedy hardly lacking in ballot appeal. All of it proved dismaying, something so superficial apparently at work.
And this year? Justice Judith French, appointed by Gov. John Kasich and now seeking election, has been calling herself “Judge Judi.” She might have enough of a problem with that last name. At least, it’s not Syria. Add to the challenge the name of her opponent: Judge John O’Donnell of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
How clever of those Democrats so overmatched at the Statehouse. Another O’Donnell on the court would make for a majority of O’somethings. Then, there is the possibility that qualifications will prove the deciding factor. In that way, the choice could be tough, both receiving “highly recommended” ratings from the Ohio State Bar Association last week.