Strickland appoints former running mate to Ohio Supreme Court


COLUMBUS (AP)

Gov. Ted Strickland picked the woman who ran at his side in his failed re-election bid as the next justice of the Ohio Supreme Court.

Yvette McGee Brown will be the first black woman to serve on the state’s highest court and the third black justice in Ohio history. She will assume the seat Jan. 1.

The Democratic governor selected McGee Brown, the former lieutenant governor candidate, to fill the vacancy created by the November election of Justice Maureen O’Connor as chief justice.

Strickland said McGee Brown, raised by a teenage mother and her grandmother, would bring an important viewpoint to the Republican-dominated court.

“Her diversity of experience, work as a former judge, and advocacy for the welfare of Ohio families will add a unique perspective and balanced decision-making to Ohio’s Supreme Court,” he said in a statement. “I have no doubt that Yvette will provide a wise and compassionate voice for the most vulnerable to our highest court.”

Before joining Strickland’s campaign, McGee Brown had served as leader of a Columbus nonprofit and as a juvenile court judge.

Strickland chose her for the court over other potential candidates, including Attorney General Richard Cordray, who was defeated in his November re-election bid; Kent Markus, Strickland’s chief counsel; and sitting Chief Justice Eric Brown, who is leaving the court after losing in November’s election.

Yvette McGee Brown was the founding president of the Center for Child and Family Advocacy at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. A lifelong Columbus resident, she also served as a juvenile and domestic relations judge on the Franklin County Common Pleas Court from 1993 to 2002.

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