AP NEWS

Deborah M. Turner for Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court, Jan. 11 term: endorsement editorial

October 3, 2018

Deborah M. Turner for Cuyahoga Common Pleas Court, Jan. 11 term: endorsement editorial

With Ohio’s judicial age limits forcing Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Janet R. Burnside to step down in January, the open seat has attracted unusually heavy interest. On the Nov. 6 ballot, the contenders are now down to two: Bedford Heights Assistant Law Director and Assistant Prosecutor Deborah M. Turner, who won the six-way Democratic primary in May; and Republican Lori Anne Dyke, a judicial staff attorney at Common Pleas Court for more than 13 years. Both have practiced law for about two decades.

Dyke, 49, of Westlake, judicial staff attorney for Common Pleas Judge Nancy McDonnell, cites her breadth of experience: She currently focuses on civil cases, but gained criminal law experience from two years in the county prosecutor’s office early in her career, followed by four and a half years with the county public defender’s office. 

Turner, 65, of Solon, who also has worked as a magistrate and bailiff in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court, and who spent 20 years as a teacher before taking up the law, cites her life experience in the school of hard knocks as helping her understand many of the challenges defendants face. 

Dyke did not participate in four local bar associations’ Judge4Yourself ratings process, saying she worried about a “taint of bias” against Turner. Turner did participate in the primary, earning two “goods” and two “adequates” from the four local bars. 

Turner appears to have the steady temperament and commitment to fairness that will enable her to serve well on the county bench. Voters should elect Deborah M. Turner to the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court bench in the Jan. 11 term.  

Early in-person and absentee voting for the Nov. 6 election begins Oct. 10. For more resources on Cuyahoga County judicial races, besides the Judge4Yourself ratings by four local bar associations, consult Judicial Votes Count at the University of Akron and the League of Women Voters’ voters’ guide. 

An open seat being vacated by age-limited Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Janet R. Burnside inspired a six-way Democratic primary race, which was won by Deborah M. Turner, the assistant law director and assistant prosecutor in Bedford Heights. In the general election, Turner faces Republican Lori Anne Dyke, a judicial staff attorney in Common Pleas Court who ran unsuccessfully for the appellate court in 2010 and 2012. The candidates were interviewed by the editorial board of cleveland.com and The Plain Dealer on Aug. 29, 2018. Listen to full audio of this 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.  

Have something to say about this topic?

* Send a letter to the editor, which will be considered for print publication.

* Email general questions about our editorial board or comments on this editorial to Elizabeth Sullivan, director of opinion, at esullivan@cleveland.com.

* Use the comments to share your thoughts. Then, stay informed when readers reply to your comments by using the “Follow” option at the top of the comments, & look for updates via the small blue bell in the lower right as you look at more stories on cleveland.com.

AP RADIO
Update hourly