Republican Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judith French has held onto her seat in one of the year's toughest races.
The former Tenth District Court of Appeals judge turned back a challenge from Democrat John P. O'Donnell, a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge. O'Donnell drew late criticism for breaking a clean campaign pledge with a negative TV ad.
French was appointed to the seven-member high court in 2012 by Republican Gov. John Kasich. She acknowledged she was concerned O'Donnell's Irish surname would play better with voters than the name French.
Republican Sharon Kennedy has been re-elected to the Ohio Supreme Court by defeating Democratic state Rep. Tom Letson.
Kennedy was first elected as one of the high court's seven members in 2012. Before that, she was an administrative judge on the Butler County Domestic Relations Court, a magistrate and a warrant officer.
The 52-year-old from Liberty Township was endorsed by the Ohio affiliates of the National Rifle Association, Fraternal Order of Police, Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Business, among others.
Now that the Ohio Supreme Court has made a decision on Medicaid expansion, it appears it’s here to stay - at least for now. After the Medicaid expansion vote before the Controlling Board in October, the lawsuit was filed and then was fast-tracked to get a ruling by the end of the year so there were no oral arguments before the justices. Four of them agreed that the Controlling Board had the authority to approve spending $2.5 billion federal dollars on Medicaid expansion. The other three dissenting justices wanted to dismiss the case.