The Ohio Court of Appeals hears challenges to decisions by trial courts and administrative agencies. On the state's judicial organization chart, it operates one level below the Ohio Supreme Court.
The court's 6th District is based in Toledo and includes Lucas, Wood, Ottawa, Sandusky, Williams, Erie, Fulton, and Huron counties. In a contested race on this year's ballot, The Blade recommends that voters retain Judge KEILA COSME for a full six-year term.
Judge Cosme, a Democrat from Oak Harbor, was named by Gov. Ted Strickland last October to complete the term of the late Judge William Skow. She is the first Hispanic American to serve on the appeals court, contributing valuable diversity.
During 15 years as a practicing attorney before she joined the court, Judge Cosme specialized in civil litigation and developed familiarity with motions and appeals. That experience and those skills are useful on the appeals court, which reviews the facts of a case to determine whether the law has been fairly and correctly applied.
Judge Cosme's Republican challenger, Stephen Yarbrough of Sylvania, is a retired Lucas County Common Pleas Court judge who has been a visiting judge in courts across the state. He also has served on Toledo City Council and in the Ohio Senate. Although his long experience is valuable, he does not make a persuasive case for replacing Judge Cosme.
In another election in the 6th District, Democrat Mark Pietrykowski of Toledo is running unopposed. In the district's contested race, Judge KEILA COSME has earned a full term.