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Jennifer Hensal for 9th Ohio District Court of Appeals, Feb. 9 term: endorsement editorial

September 30, 2018

Jennifer Hensal for 9th Ohio District Court of Appeals, Feb. 9 term: endorsement editorial

Because of the relatively small percentage of appeals heard by the Ohio Supreme Court, the state’s district Courts of Appeals are most Ohioans’ courts of last resort.

Seeking her second term on the 9th Ohio District Court of Appeals, which hears cases from Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne counties, is Judge Jennifer Hensal, an Akron Republican first elected in 2012. Her challenger is Diana Colavecchio, a Cuyahoga Falls Democrat who is clerk of Stow Municipal Court.

Both candidates are energetic jurists committed to improving the efficiency, accessibility and responsiveness of the courts, and both are approaching this contest in a cordial and constructive fashion.

Hensal, 51, however, has the clear edge because of her appellate experience. Hensal has served terms as both the administrative judge and presiding judge for the court, and, because of turnover, is now second in seniority among the court’s five judges.

Colavecchio, 58, believes courts should be user-friendly, and she lists a raft of accomplishments at the municipal court level in accommodating people who may not be English speakers or who may be filing a case “pro se” – that is, “for oneself” (without a lawyer).

Colavecchio is an attractive candidate but Hensal has the superior experience and appellate knowledge. Voters in Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne counties should retain Judge Jennifer Hensal on the 9th Ohio District Court of Appeals. 

Early in-person and absentee voting for the Nov. 6 election begins Oct. 10. For more resources on judicial races, consult Judicial Votes Count at the University of Akron and the League of Women Voters’ voters’ guide. 

Incumbent 9th Ohio District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Hensal of Akron, a Republican, is being challenged for re-election by Stow Municipal Clerk Diana Colavecchio, a Democrat who lives in Cuyahoga Falls. The two candidates were interviewed by the editorial board of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer as part of its endorsement process on Sept. 11, 2018. Listen to full audio of the interview below: 

About our editorials: Editorials express the view of the editorial board of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer -- the senior leadership and editorial-writing staff. As is traditional, editorials are unsigned and intended to be seen as the voice of the news organization.  

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