Tammy O達rien joined the Summit County Common Pleas Court in difficult circumstances, filling the judgeship vacated through the death of Brenda Burnham Unruh. Now O達rien is running to complete the unexpired term. She admits that she has learned much the past 17 months. What many at the courthouse have discovered is that O達rien has performed well in the job, smart and organized, open and fair.

We recommend the election of Tammy O達rien on Nov. 6.

In two decades of practicing law, O達rien gained wide experience, including some criminal matters. Mostly, she represented businesses and organizations in civil litigation, in federal and state courts, ranging from the simpler to the complex. Count among O達rien痴 strengths her community involvement, among other things, serving on the board of HM Life Opportunity Services and recently as a member of the State Board of Education.

In this race, the key is her work on the bench. More than anything, her temperament stands out. O達rien combines a willingness to listen with the right capacity for decision-making, informed, timely and thoughtful. She also has an eye on the court moving forward, examining such issues as indigent appeals and the use of specialty courts.

Her opponent is Kathryn Michael, a judge on the Akron Municipal Court the past seven years. Michael won re-election a year ago. She presides well in the family violence specialty court. No question, Michael brings her own broad experience and strengths. Of late, she also has invited questions about her judgment, her campaign fined for improperly accepting a campaign contribution and Michael from the bench encouraging an appreciative defendant during a plea agreement to spread the word about voting for her. Neither of these episodes are part of a persuasive case for the 菟romotion she seeks.