Cuyahoga judge kicks off candidacy for Supreme Court


COLUMBUS — Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell on Thursday officially launched his bid to become the second Democrat — and second O’Donnell — on the Ohio Supreme Court.

His candidacy, announced in Cleveland, was no secret. The Ohio Democratic Party had already endorsed him for the nomination in the May 6 primary election.

The 49-year-old Lakewood judge expects to take on Justice Judith French, a former Columbus appellate judge and Republican appointed by Gov. John Kasich last year to replace retired Justice Evelyn Lundberg Stratton.

Judge O’Donnell is a product of Miami University of Ohio and the Cleveland-Marshall Law School.

The O’Donnell name is popular in Cleveland judicial circles. It has already produced one Supreme Court justice, Republican Terrence O’Donnell, who handily won re-election in 2012.

Cuyahoga Judge O’Donnell has served on the appellate bench off and on since 2002.

Two seats on the 6-1 Republican court will be on the 2014 ballot.

State Rep. Tom Letson (D., Warren) is seeking the Democratic nomination to do battle this fall with first-term Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy.