An Austintown attorney who’s never run for a judicial position is seeking a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court.
Bob Price, 61, was the only Democrat to file for the Supreme Court seat currently held by Justice Terrence O’Donnell, 65, a Republican from Rocky River, who is seeking re-election and also doesn’t have a primary opponent. The two will face each other in the November 2012 general election.
Wednesday was the filing deadline for three seats on the court, including the one held by Justice O’Donnell since 2003.
“It’s an awesome opportunity, and I will do the best I can to win,” Price said Wednesday.
A Democrat hasn’t been elected to the state’s highest court since 2000.
Price, a Mahoning County Democratic Party precinct committee member and the party’s Austintown district leader, spent 32 years on the assembly line at the Lordstown General Motors complex.
He worked his way through law school and became a lawyer in 2002. He is an associate with the Canfield law firm of Richard G. Zellers, with a focus on probate.
“It’s a dream come true for me to be a lawyer,” he said. “I still can’t believe I’m an attorney. The law is my love.”
Price unsuccessfully ran in 1977 for a seat on the Mahoning County Educational Service Center board, then known as the county board of education.
Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras said state Democratic Chairman Chris Redfern asked him if he knew of anyone interested in running for the court.
Betras, an attorney, said he thought of Price, whom he greatly respects.
When asked if it’s a big step to run for the Supreme Court without ever being a judge, Betras said, “Yes, but a lot of people make big steps. Nothing requires you have prior judicial experience to run for the Ohio Supreme Court. He’s as qualified as anyone else. The Democratic Party doesn’t have the best record winning Ohio Supreme Court races. But you can’t hit the ball unless you swing at it.”