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Hamilton County Prosecutor

Salary: $101,271 Term: 4 yearsResponsibilities: To investigate and prosecute crimes committed within the county, to defend the county in court, and to give legal advice to county agencies and townships.

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  • Candidate picture

    Joseph T. Deters

  • Candidate picture

    Fanon A. Rucker

Biographical Information

What kinds of policies, if any, will you pursue to promote social and racial justice in our community? (500 character limit)

What will you do to foster trust with the voters you represent? (500 character limit)

What should be considered when determining a recommendation for bail? (500 character limit)

Do you support prosecuting youth accused of serious crimes as adults? Please explain how youth should be treated throughout the justice system. (500 character limit)

Twitter @VoteJoeDeters
Occupation Hamilton County Prosecutor
Education University of Cincinnati (Undergraduate), University of Cincinnati College of Law (Law School)
Experience 1992-1999: Hamilton County Prosecutor, 1999-2004: Ohio’s 44th Treasurer of State, 2004-Present: Hamilton County Prosecutor
Political Philosophy The responsibility of the Prosecuting Attorney is to seek justice in all cases. I take that responsibility seriously and follow it in all my dealings.
Endorsements I am proud to be endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police, the Cincinnati Area Board of REALTORS, Cincinnati Right to Life, the Hamilton County Republican Party and many other organizations and individuals.
Affliations I am a member of the Cincinnati Bar Association, National District Attorney’s Association, the Ohio Prosecuting Attorney’s Association, and continue to serve on the New St. Joseph’s Cemetery Board of Trustees.  Previously, I served on the University of Cincinnati Board of Trustees, Ohio Organized Crime Commission, and the Southern Ohio Leukemia Foundation.
I've spent my entire career bringing justice to the victims of crime without regard for race, gender or sexual orientation. Whether popular or not, I pursue justice. I will continue to dedicate resources for programming designed to provide healing to those with drug and mental health issues. It takes real leadership to know when to go hard and when to give someone a break and that kind of leadership only comes from experience prosecuting the toughest cases.
What I have done and will continue to do to build trust is use my experience prosecuting felonies to bring justice to situations where an injustice has occurred. I believe the voters, who have elected me Hamilton County Prosecutor six times, understand that. Voters have seen me prosecute violent criminals for over 20 years. That is real leadership - that is real experience. Everything else is just talk and I am the only candidate in this race with that level of experience and leadership.
Keep in mind the Prosecutor does not set bond - Judges do. The main factor to be considered in setting bail is whether the defendant is a flight risk. The more violent the crime, generally, the higher the flight risk. On the other hand, low level non-violent defendants should, generally, receive an own recognizance bond. Bond is not a one size fits all scenario. States that have done away with cash bonds have seen a rapid and dramatic increase in all kinds of crime.
Sadly, there are some instances where justice demands a juvenile be prosecuted as an adult. This is due to the limitations of the juvenile justice system, which loses jurisdiction over youths at a young age. Simply put, it would demean the seriousness of certain violent crimes (such as Murder or Rape) to treat them as juvenile offenses. My commitment to seeking justice for victims of crime demands we do more in these select cases. All such juveniles should get full Constitutional protections.
Twitter @fanonrucker
Occupation Attorney with the Cochran Law Firm. Former Hamilton County Municipal Court Judge and prosecutor.
Education Hampton University, B.A. Psychology '93 University of Cincinnati J.D. '96
Experience Prosecutor: Cincinnati, Woodlawn, Lincoln Heights, Lockland, and Moscow(1996-2007); Private Practice Areas: Civil Rights, Employment, Housing Discrimination, Business Litigation in State and Federal Court(2000-2007); Municipal Court Judge(2007-2019)
Political Philosophy “Cooperation is better than conflict, unity is better than division, empowerment is better than resentment, bridges are better than walls. It’s a simple, but powerful concept: We (The People) are stronger together.” Although these words are from the Democratic Party national platform, they accurately summarize my personal life and political philosophy. We as a society can achieve justice, but only if we work together. My personal experiences in leadership confirm the truth of this statement.
Endorsements A long list of current and former elected officials, religious leaders, and community activists endorse me in this race. The full list of endorsements can be found at
Affliations Elected/Appointed Leadership Positions – President, Seasongood Good Government Foundation (2017 – Present) – Association of Municipal and County Judges of Ohio, Trustee (2010 – 2019) – Association of Municipal and County Judges of Ohio, Secretary (2018 – 2019/Retirement) – Supreme Court Appointee, Bail Reform Committee (2019 – Present) – Supreme Court Appointee, Ohio Bar Examiner (2019 – Present) – Supreme Court Appointee, Rules of Superintendence (2014 – 2019) – Supreme Court Appointee, Judicial Election Grievance Review Board (2015 – 2019) – Cincinnati Bar Association, Finance Committee (2017 – 2019) – Cincinnati Bar Association, Nominating Committee (2017 – present) – Cincinnati Bar Association, Trustee (2003 – 2007) – Bar Exam Grader (1998 – 2007) – President, Black Lawyers’ Association of Cincinnati (2001 – 2003) – Cincinnati Academy Leadership for Lawyers (CALL) (2001) – Mayoral Appointee to Cincinnati Action Now, Police and Justice Committee (2001-2003) – Federal Magistrate Judge Selection Committee (2002) – Board Member, Boys Hope Girls Hope (2002 – 2006) – Board Member, Catholic Inner-city Schools Education (CISE) Fund (2003-2007) – Board Member, Cincinnati Paralegal Association (2003 – 2006) – Board Member, Children’s Law Center (2004 – 2007) – Steward, Allen Temple AME church (2006- Present) – Board Member, Elementz Youth Center (2011 – 2014) – Prince Hall Masonic Order, Statewide Orator/Lecturer (2010 – Present) – United Supreme Council, 33rd Degree (2011 – Present)
As prosecutor, promoting social and racial justice will be an important priority of mine. The Hamilton County Prosecutor's office has not hired a black male in over 20 years. As prosecutor, I will be intentional about having an office that accurately reflects Hamilton County. This is absolutely essential to restoring trust in our community. Without trust our criminal justice system cannot work.
As I mentioned above, restoring trust is an integral part in making our criminal justice system function for everyone. To this end, I will create a conviction integrity unit to restore our ability to properly serve justice in Hamilton County. I will also be a full time prosecutor with a full time commitment to Hamilton County. We will have a robust community relations team that will make sure that the voices of our communities are heard. In addition, we will bring a laser focus to violent crime.
The Ohio Rules of Criminal Procedure provides the terms for the consideration of bail. I used these factors to set bail innumerable times over the years. I will follow the U.S. Supreme Court which stated that pre-trial detention should be the exception and not the rule. I will work to eliminate cash bail for non violent offenses and focus on pre-trial detention for those who pose a serious risk to the community. As in New Jersey, this will result in the reduction of violent crime and homicides.
Children should be treated as children, with the understanding that they can be influenced to be successful or to fail in life. Consequently, other than mandatory bind overs our office will focus on retaining juvenile court jurisdiction over minors charged with crimes.