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Published: Wednesday, 11/5/2008

Republicans hold onto Ohio Supreme Court seats

BY JIM PROVANCE
BLADE COLUMBUS BUREAU CHIEF

COLUMBUS - Races for Ohio's highest court yesterday again bucked statewide trends as voters affirmed at least two more years of an all-Republican court.

Supreme Court Justices Evelyn Lundberg Stratton, 55, and Maureen O'Connor, 57, defeated their respective Democratic challengers, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judges Peter Sikora, 56, and Joseph Russo, 46.

Judges Sikora and Russo apparently gained little traction with their argument that Ohio isn't well served by a one-party high court. Since judicial candidates do not appear on general election ballots with partisan labels, it's unknown whether voters didn't care or didn't know who the Republicans and Democrats were.

Justice Stratton will remain on the bench for a third term.

"Justice O'Connor and I ran very unpartisan races and promised justice for Republicans, Democrats, unions, or companies," said Justice Stratton. "You don't play party politics. Our opponents ran very strong on party politics. People don't want that in their justices. They just want fair and impartial justice, and that's all we promised."

The two justices were among the few who had much to celebrate last night at the Republican post-election party in Columbus.

"I've got to view this as an affirmation of the steady, predictable, legal atmosphere that the Supreme Court of Ohio has provided," said Justice O'Connor.

This report includes information from the Associated Press.



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