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Democratic candidate for court drops out

Published: Sat, May 19, 2012 @ 12:03 a.m.

By David Skolnick



An Austintown attorney who was a Democratic nominee for the Ohio Supreme Court has quit the race saying he lacked the money to run a competitive campaign.

“I found I don’t have enough money, and I can’t dedicate the time to be a bona fide candidate,” said Bob Price, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary in March to face incumbent Justice Terrence O’Donnell of Rocky River, who also ran without opposition in the Republican primary.

“I’d almost have to close my practice and travel for three months” to properly campaign, he said. “I have clients and responsibilities, and I can’t tell them I’m going to stop [practicing law]. It’s not practical.”

Price, who’s never run for a judicial seat, didn’t raise any money for his campaign.

“Being realistic about it, it’s best not to run,” he said. “I felt I’d be the best friend the Ohio Republican Party would ever have. I don’t have money. I don’t like to ask for money, and I can’t ask people to raise money for me.”

Justice O’Donnell’s campaign fund had a $120,024.68 surplus as of April 6, the most recent filing date.

Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras, a fellow attorney, said he understands Price’s decision.

“He would have provided a good contrast in backgrounds to Terry O’Donnell’s,” Betras said. “Ultimately, it’s a very daunting task to go throughout the state and raise money.”

Price, a county Democratic Party precinct committee member, spent 32 years on the assembly line at the Lordstown General Motors complex.

He worked his way through law school and in 2002, he became a lawyer, with a focus on probate.

The Ohio Democratic Party’s executive committee will meet in late June to “appoint a competitive candidate to the Supreme Court vacancy in order to bring further diversity of opinion to the overwhelmingly Republican-dominated bench,” said Jerid Kurtz, a party spokesman.

Among the court’s seven justices, only Yvette McGee Brown is a Democrat, and she is there because Democrat Ted Strickland appointed her during the final days of his gubernatorial term. The justice was Strickland’s failed lieutenant-governor running mate in the 2010 election. She is seeking election to a six-year term in November.

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