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Municipal Court Judge - District 7 (full term)

6 YEAR TERM. Salary $125,850RESPONSIBILITIES: Has original jurisdiction in civil cases (auto, neighborhood disputes etc.) involving claims of $15,000 or under, and in criminal cases involving misdemeanors in Hamilton County. Conducts preliminary hearings in felony cases.Judge of the Hamilton County Municipal Court - 1 to be elected per district - 6 year termFor more information about judicial candidates visit: JudicialVotesCount.org
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    Julia A. Collier

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    Kevin O. Donovan

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    Jackie Ginocchio

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Biographical Information

List your judicial experience (court and years)

What about your non-judicial legal experience qualifies you to be a judge?

Why are you running for this particular court seat?

Age 56
Residence Cincinnati (Delhi), OH
Occupation Cincinnati Insurance Companies
Education J.D. from University of Cincinnati College of Law; B.S. from University of Dayton
Work Experience Cincinnati Insurance Companies since 2016; Private Practice 2010- 2016; Bureau of Workers’ Compensation 1997-2010; Ohio Attorney General’s Office 1993-1997; American Federation of Government Employees 6th District 1989-1993; Legal Aid Society of Dayton 1988-1989; American Federation of Government Employees 1987-1988
Family Married with two children
Affliations St. Simon the Apostle Catholic Church, member; Oak Hills High School PTA, member
Endorsements Equality Cincinnati; Hamilton County Democratic Party
This is my first judicial campaign.
The skills and knowledge I have gained from my broad range of experience, both inside and outside the legal profession, qualifies me to serve as a judge. Over my years of experience, I polished the technical side of my practice of law, have applied the law to the facts of each case, and have demonstrated sound judgment. From the technical part of practicing law, I am well qualified to serve as a judge. I handled all aspects of litigation through trial and appeal as an Assistant Attorney General, as a Staff Attorney for Legal Aid, and as a private practitioner. I have handled a high volume of cases in the courts in several Ohio counties. My courtroom experience has been strengthened and supplemented by my practice before administrative agencies, as well. I served as an attorney for the State of Ohio during which time I attended thousands of hearings. As an attorney for the State, I was charged with advocating the position of a neutral state agency, making daily judgments about which side of the dispute required the State’s support based upon the facts and the law. I took this responsibility very seriously and always advocated the State’s position, free from bias. A great deal of my analytical thinking during those years will readily translate to the judicial role. Earlier in my career, I handled arbitrations, mediations, and negotiations for the American Federation of Government Employees. In this position, I worked with many different agencies and many more different people. I learned how to work effectively with others to resolve issues and conflicts. In all of those roles — from public servant to private practitioner — I was constantly required to exercise vigilance, compassion, and good judgment. I have striven to maintain professionalism in all phases of my practice of law as well as in my dealings with others outside the legal profession. I continue to be thoughtful and my decisions are considered and measured. As a judge, I will serve with the same neutrality, respect, and professionalism.
I am running for Hamilton County’s 7th District Municipal Court because I am committed to improving the court by applying the law fairly and equally, without basing decisions on race, gender, socio-economic level, or sexual orientation. I am also running for this 7th District Municipal Court seat because I know the importance of having a representative who lives in, has lived in, and will be living in the 7th District, the western-most district in Hamilton County, for years. Our county is divided into districts to encourage representation from each district. I am the only candidate running for this seat who has lived in our District since before July, 2017. I am the only candidate running for this seat who has voted for school, park, and police levies, coached kids’ basketball, and volunteered for PTA and school activities, in our District. I know that Ohio’s citizens have more contact with Municipal Courts than any other level of Ohio court. I also know that some minority populations lack confidence in Ohio’s justice system. I am committed to instilling confidence in the Hamilton County Municipal Court and Ohio’s justice system. As a judge it will be my responsibility to treat litigants with respect, consider the evidence presented, and issue individual rulings based on the evidence. I understand the requirements for and limits of the presentation of evidence. I also appreciate that judgments require consideration of the facts of each individual case. Especially in the context of criminal law, the plight of the individual and justice for society requires careful consideration and deliberation. I reject the “one size fits all” concept for criminal sentencing. I know that all litigants, in whatever contexts, need to leave the courtroom believing that they have been treated as individuals and that they have been heard. It takes a balanced perspective to fairly and equally apply the law to the parties before a judge. I have had the pleasure of representing diverse clients and representing clients on opposing sides of issues. Because I have looked at issues from both sides, I lack the bias that handling one side of cases can promote. I am running for this seat because I am committed to improving the Municipal Court by applying the law fairly and equally and because I truly represent (here yesteryear, all this year, and next year) the 7th District.
Age 63
Residence Cincinnati, OH
Occupation Senior Prosecuting Attorney
Education J.D., Univeristy of Dayton School of Law (1985); M.B.A., Xavier University (1977); B.S.B.A. (Magna Cum Laude), Xavier University (1976)
Work Experience Prosecuting Attorney, City of Cincinnati, Hamilton Municipal Court since 1986
Family Married to wife, Debbie, since 1989. Two daughters: Eileen C. Donovan, M.D. and Erin P. Donovan
Affliations Lifelong West Side Resident raised in Covedale and residing in Westwood; Member of St. Lawrence Parish (Price Hill); Mentor to Xavier students/graduates seeking careers in law; Managing Trustee, Mary C. Donovan Memorial Scholarship Fund at St. Teresa of Avila School since its inception in 1995
Endorsements N/A
I am a first time judicial candidate, but in the past, I held a Magistrate’s license which allowed me to hear cases in various Mayor’s Courts in Cleves, Newotwn and Springdale on a substitute basis. As a magistrate in these locales, I heard misdemeanor cases.
I have been a prosecutor in the Hamilton County Municipal Court for more than 31 years. My experience includes numerous jury trials, suppression hearings, bench trials involving issues such as OVI (DUI), Domestic Violence, Menacing by Stalking, Resisting Arrest, Vehicular Homicide/Manslaughter, Assaults as well as other misdemeanors. I have handled numerous appeals in the First District Court of Appeals which included writing briefs both as an Appellant and as an Appellee. Many of these cases included oral arguments before a three judge panel. I successfully defended the constitutionality of Ohio’s Menacing by Stalking statute in State v. Dario where it had been argued that the law was both overbroad and vague. I have been a guest speaker at seminars for the Ohio Municipal League (Prosecutorial Appeals, Domestic Violence and Menacing by Stalking) as well as a Lorman OVI Seminar. I have also served as an attorney advisor for the Private Complaint Mediation Program; and I also led a team of prosecutors handling civil collections in the Municipal and Small Claims Court of Hamilton County.

The breadth of my experience working with judges, law enforcement officials, defense counsel and court personnel gives me a unique understanding of the complexities of the Municipal Court. Judges are required to be fair and impartial in their application of the law to the determined facts; and I have a solid a reputation in the legal community as being a determined but reasonable prosecutor. Police officers have confidence in my abilities to prepare and prosecute cases; and defense attorneys regard me as a man of my word in the pursuit of justice.
Only recently has the city of Cincinnati allowed for me to seek political office while maintaining my position as a Prosecutor. My participation in most political activity was prohibited. Past efforts seeking an appointment to the bench were not successful for this reason. With the recent appointments to the District 7 vacancies by Governor Kasich, it became obvious to me that there was an opportunity for a candidate who been a member of the community virtually all his life. I attended St. Teresa of Avila grade school and St, Xavier High School before receiving my undergraduate and graduate degrees at Xavier University. I attending the University of Dayton School of Law before becoming a prosecutor.

My whole career has been spent in the Hamilton County Municipal Court. It is a court system with which I am thoroughly familiar. I have enjoyed my experience there; and I have often been asked by both law enforcement and defense counsel whether I would ever consider being a judge. My answer was always yes but the timing would have to be right. The time is right. I care greatly for the neighborhoods where I was raised as a child and where I raised my own two daughters with my wife, Debbie. Eileen and Erin attended Our Lady of Lourdes School and swam on Gamble-Nippert’s swim team. I helped coach Erin’s softball team in grade school. I was raised in a family of ten children in Covedale. It was a great neighborhood; and remains so to this day. The daily swim practices at Phillips Swim Club, the football practices at Western Hills High School and the basketball games at Woodbriar lot and at Delhi Park are all fond memories. Westwood remains a nice neighborhood for families. I would like for the families of this area to have the same opportunities that I had growing up. My mother’s death in 1995 led my family’s establishment of the Mary C. Donovan Scholarship fund at St. Teresa. As the managing trustee of this fund, I have overseen the awarding of 95 scholarships to students to help with tuition costs. The Municipal Court districting system allows for each district’s residents to have confidence in its elected judges. My legal experience qualifies me to sit as a judge. My commitment to the west side bolsters that confidence as well.
Age 35
Residence Cincinnati, OH
Occupation Judge
Education J.D. from Ohio Northern University; B.A. from Indiana University
Work Experience Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Office of the Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney, 2008-2017
Family Married with one child
Affliations N/A
Endorsements Hamilton County Republican Party; Congressman Steve Chabot
Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge, District 7; January, 2017 to present
Prior to taking the bench, I was an Assistant Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney for nearly a decade. As a prosecutor, I tried dozens of jury trials and countless bench trials in Municipal and Common Pleas courts. I have successfully tried some of the region’s most serious cases involving the most dangerous criminals. My career has been focused on courtroom litigation. I am intimately familiar with the rules of evidence, criminal procedure, and civil procedure. As a prosecutor, my focus was to serve and protect the citizens of Hamilton County while also maintaining fairness and seeking justice on each case. As a judge, I bring the same level of professional conduct to the bench that I did as a prosecutor. I work every day to get the job done right so that our constitution and our justice system are served.
I have dedicated my career to the administration of justice. I have litigated every type of misdemeanor in Municipal Court as prosecutor, and my experience as a felony prosecutor, handling our community’s most serious crimes, gives me the appropriate perspective on each case in Municipal Court. As the incumbent Judge in this race, I am proud to serve the residents of the west side of Cincinnati, Delhi, Cosby, Harrison, Whitewater, and Miami Townships and all of the other municipalities in the 7th District. I live in this district with my husband and our son, and I am committed to making our neighborhoods safe while protecting everybody’s civil liberties.

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