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Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart elected to be justices on Ohio Supreme Court

November 7, 2018

Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart elected to be justices on Ohio Supreme Court

The all-Republican Ohio Supreme Court will become a little more Democratic with appeals court Judge Melody Stewart and Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Michael Donnelly victories on Tuesday night.

Stewart, who serves on the Eighth District Court of Appeals in Cleveland, had 52.36 percent of the vote when the Associated Press called the race with 98 percent of the precincts counted to displace incumbent Justice Mary DeGenaro, who was appointed in January by Gov. John Kasich after the resignation of Democratic Justice Bill O’Neill.

Donnelly, with 60.37 percent of the vote with 90 percent of the precincts votes counted, defeated appeals court Judge Craig Baldwin of Newark, Ohio, according to the Associated Press. The seat is now held by Republican Justice Terrence O’Donnell, who is stepping down because of judicial age limits.

Donnelly, 52, of Cleveland Heights, served as an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor before becoming a common pleas judge. He has a bachelor’s degree from John Carroll University and a law degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

Baldwin, 54, serves on the appeals court in Ohio’s Fifth District. Before that, he was the director of the Licking County Child Support Enforcement Agency. He has a bachelor’s degree from Ohio University and a law degree from Capital University Law School.

Stewart, 56, is a member of the Ohio Criminal Justice Recodification Committee, which works to revise and update Ohio’s criminal code. Stewart has a bachelor’s degree from the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati and a law degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

DeGenaro, 57, served on the Youngstown-based Seventh District Court of Appeals as well as on the Poland Village Council before being named to the Supreme Court. She has a bachelor’s degree from Youngstown State University and a law degree from Cleveland Marshall College of Law.

Although each judicial candidate identifies with a party, Ohio’s courts and judges are officially nonpartisan. The court has seven members.

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