Back to Top

JUDGE JENNIFER BRUNNER

FOR JUSTICE OF THE OHIO SUPREME COURT

Welcome to Judge Jennifer Brunner's campaign website. Judge Jennifer Brunner is a candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court in 2020.  Currently, she is one of 8 elected judges of the Ohio Tenth District Court of Appeals. She was elected in November 2014 to an unexpired term, besting a Governor's appointee, and was reelected without opposition in 2016 to a full, 6-year term. We look forward to your involvement with our campaign activities to elect Judge Jennifer Brunner as our next associate justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.  

News

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 11:33 PM

With control of Ohio Supreme Court up for grabs in 2020, Democrat Jennifer Brunner announces run

Updated 10:41 AM; Posted Aug 19, 4:24 PM

ASSOCIATED PRESS

Former Ohio secretary of state Jennifer Brunner seen in an April 2010 file photo. Brunner, now a state appellate judge in Franklin County, has announced she is running for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court next year.

(AP Photo/John Seewer)
By Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland.com

COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio’s biggest state-level political fight of the 2020 election is starting to come into focus, after former Ohio secretary of state Jennifer Brunner announced over the weekend that she’s running for the Ohio Supreme Court.

Brunner, now a state appellate judge in Franklin County, joins Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge John P. O’Donnell in the Democratic field challenging two seats currently held by Republicans Justices Sharon Kennedy and Judith French. Were Democrats to win both seats, they would seize control of Ohio’s top court, currently a 5-2 majority for Republicans, for the first time in a generation.

Brunner announced her candidacy somewhat unceremoniously over the weekend, breaking the news to a meeting of county-level Democratic Party chairs in Columbus.
While there had been rumors in Democratic circles that she was considering a run, the timing of her announcement came as a surprise, those in attendance said.

“There aren’t that many candidates entering these races with such a strong standing, good name and good reputation,” said Ohio Democratic Party Chairman David Pepper. “Her decision to run, I think, will make big waves across the state for us.”

State supreme court races aren’t usually top of mind for voters or even political professionals. But the stakes could be higher this year — the Ohio Supreme Court would hear any legal challenges to the new state legislative lines that will be re-drawn in 2021. The court also could play a more central role in adjudicating hot-button social issues like abortion, if the increasingly conservative U.S. Supreme Court ends up sending those issues back to the states to decide. Finally, with no other statewide, non-presidential races on the ballot next year, the race is expected to get closer-than-usual attention from the state parties.

Ohio Republicans have said they’re particularly focused on the Ohio Supreme Court after Democrats Melody Stewart and Michael Donnelly picked up two seats in November 2018, a bright spot for Democrats in what was otherwise a strong election for the state GOP. Republican leaders prioritized resources toward helping Mike DeWine beat Democrat Richard Cordray, allowing the Supreme Court races to fly more under the radar.

“I think folks were a little surprised last year,” said Mike Hartley, a Republican strategist and former lobbyist for the Columbus Chamber of Commerce. ”…I think everybody’s been put on notice that these races are incredibly important, and the folks who care about the Supreme Court will respond in kind.”

And in Ohio, Supreme Court candidates run in November without their party affiliation appearing on the ballot. This can make judicial elections more a crapshoot, placing an increased significance on fundraising — and the advertising it buys — as well as the “name game,” with recognizable, and particularly Irish-sounding names seen as offering an advantage. Pepper said the Ohio Democrats also have focused on encouraging their voters to fill out their entire ballot, combating the tendency people have to drop-off and leave the bottom of the ticket blank.

Bill Demora, a Democratic strategist who’s managing O’Donnell’s campaign, said that business and insurance groups have pledged to make sure the Republican incumbents are well-funded.

“I’ve been trying to talk for months to our allies that the other side is doing this,” Demora said. “This is the most important election for the court seats in a long time,” he said.
Another Democratic Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge, Administrative and Presiding Judge John J. Russo, also is considering running for the Ohio Supreme Court, according to Jeff Rusnak, a Cleveland political strategist who is advising him.

Brunner said Saturday she is running to challenge French, while O’Donnell, who launched his candidacy last April, has been circulating petitions for both seats.

Demora told cleveland.com he was “caught by surprise” to hear Brunner say she was running for French’s seat. But he also said he’s hoping the party will avoid an expensive primary, allowing them to organize early and prepare for a competitive race.

“Just like last year when both Donnelly and Stewart circulated petitions for both seats and worked out which seat later, I expect we will do the same thing this year,” he said. “Judge O’Donnell is a team player, and we will do what is best for the party and everyone involved.”

Brunner has served on the 10th District Court of Appeals in Franklin County since 2014. She was Ohio’s Secretary of State from 2006 to 2010, when she opted to run for the U.S. Senate rather than seek re-election. She lost the Democratic primary to then-Lieutenant Gov. Lee Fisher in what turned out to be the last year Democrats controlled state government.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:59 PM

Democrat Jennifer Brunner announces run for Ohio Supreme Court

Columbus Dispatch

Aug 19, 2019 at 10:33 AM Aug 19, 2019 at 10:37 AM



With political control of the Ohio Supreme Court on the line, a pair of familiar Democrats will seek election as justices next year.

Columbus appellate court Judge Jennifer Brunner, a former Ohio secretary of state, and John O’Donnell, a Cleveland judge making his third run, plan to seek the Democratic nomination for separate seats in 2020.

The seats of Republican Justices Sharon Kennedy, who has served on the court since 2012, and Judith French, on the high court’s bench since 2013, are up for re-election next year. Brunner said she plans to run against French.

Brunner made her plans public during weekend remarks to a meeting of Ohio Democratic Party county chairmen and chairwomen. Brunner, who was re-elected in 2016 and will retain her appellate judgeship if she loses next year, could not be reached for comment Monday.

Democrats ended total Republican control of the Ohio Supreme Court in 2018, when Justices Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart won election to trim the GOP margin to 5-2.
Brunner has served on the 10th District Court of Appeals since late 2014 and also previously served as a Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge.

She was elected secretary of state in 2006, defeating Republican Greg Hartmann, and served through early 2011.

Instead of seeking re-election in 2010, Brunner opted to run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate, losing to then-Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who then lost to Republican Rob Portman.

O’Donnell announced his plans to run months ago. A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge since 2003, O’Donnell lost to Republican Justice Patrick Fischer in 2016 by 22,470 votes (0.56%) and also was defeated by French in 2014.

Ohio Supreme Court candidates are nominated in partisan primaries, but appear on fall election ballots without their political affiliation. Justices serve six-year terms.

rludlow@dispatch.com

@RandyLudlow


Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:50 PM

Former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner announces run for Supreme Court

Dayton Daily News, August 20, 2019

Photo: Gus Chan/The Plain Dealer

With political control of the Ohio Supreme Court on the line, a pair of familiar Democrats will seek election as justices next year.

Columbus appellate court Judge Jennifer Brunner, a former Ohio secretary of state, and John O’Donnell, a Cleveland judge making his third run, plan to seek the Democratic nomination for separate seats in 2020.

The seats of Republican Justices Sharon Kennedy, who has served on the court since 2012, and Judith French, on the high court’s bench since 2013, are up for re-election next year.

Brunner made her plans public during weekend remarks to a meeting of Ohio Democratic Party chairmen and chairwomen. Comment was being sought from Brunner on Monday.

Democrats ended total Republican control of the OhioSupreme Court in 2018, when Justices Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart won election to trim the GOP margin to 5-2.

Brunner has served on the 10th District Court of Appeals since late 2014 and also previously served as a Franklin County Common Pleas Court judge.

She was elected secretary of state in 2006, defeating Republican Greg Hartmann, and served through early 2011.
Instead of seeking re-election, Brunner opted to run for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010, losing to then Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher, who then lost to Republican Rob Portman.

O’Donnell announced his plans to run months ago. A Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge since 2003, O’Donnell lost to Republican Justice Patrick Fischer in 2016 and also was defeated by French in 2014.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:48 PM

Ex-Ohio elections chief Brunner seeks seat on high court

Cincinnati Enquirer, August, 20, 2019
Associated PressPublished 2:59 p.m. ET Aug. 20, 2019

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Democrat Jennifer Brunner has announced plans to seek a seat next year on the Ohio Supreme Court as her party tries to wrest control of the high court from Republicans.

The 62-year-old Columbus appellate judge joins the race with statewide name recognition. She served a four-year term as secretary of state beginning in 2007 and ran unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate in 2010.

Brunner joins fellow Democrat John O'Donnell, a judge in Cleveland, in respective challenges to incumbent Republican justices Judith French and Sharon Kennedy. Democrats currently hold just two of the court's seven seats.
This is O'Donnell's third run for the court. He lost to French in 2014 and to Republican Pat Fischer in 2016 by less than a percentage point.

Supreme Court races are nonpartisan.



Tuesday, August 20, 2019 10:40 PM

The Battle Over the Supreme Court in 2020

Ohio Public Radio, August 20, 2019

Judge and Former Sec. of State Jennifer Brunner
THE STATE OF OHIO, OHIO PUBLIC TELEVISION

Some of the biggest races on the ballot next year could be for the Ohio Supreme Court. Two seats now held by Republican justices will be open. A prominent Democrat who has held statewide office says she wants one of them.

Appeals Court Judge and former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner says she is running for the seat now held by Justice Judith French. Brunner says she is running because the court will take up big issues like criminal justice and property rights.

“The Supreme Court sort of sets the tone for what issues are we going to consider, what issues are we going to look at, how are we going to look at them and they have a way, as I saw when I was Secretary of State protecting people’s votes, of filtering down to affect people in the most intimate ways," Brunner says.

Brunner will join Cleveland Judge John O’Donnell in a run for the high court. If both win, it would tip the control of the court to Democrats, which could be important in 2021 if there are challenges to the state’s new redistricting process.




Paid for by Jennifer Brunner Committee
Copyright, 2016
Powered by CampaignPartner.com - Political Websites