Dear Friend,

It is with great excitement that I announce my candidacy for Judge in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas in 2020.  I will be running for the seat that was vacated by Justice Michael Donnelly when he was elected to the Supreme Court of Ohio.  The Democratic primary will be held on March 17, 2020.

I have specifically chosen to run for the seat vacated by Justice Donnelly because of the importance of continuing the great work that he did while on the bench.  While his new position on the Supreme Court of Ohio is fantastic for our State, he left very large shoes to fill here in Cuyahoga County.  It would be an honor to carry on his legacy of fairness, transparency, and thoughtfulness as a Judge.

In my current role as a public defender, I am a unique candidate for Judge.  None of the 34 current sitting Judges in Cuyahoga County have this professional background.  Through this experience, I am afforded an “up close & personal” view of the criminal justice system in Cuyahoga County.  This perspective allows me to see the urgent need for Judges to work with county government to improve conditions in the Cuyahoga County Jail. 


Additionally, I will work tirelessly for bail reform and expanded mental health & substance abuse services for defendants. I am also aware that our courtrooms could work more efficiently, and I am committed to utilizing resources and technical assistance whenever available to modernize and streamline our dockets.

Like many of you, I am a working parent with a family, a career, and an active civic engagement calendar.  I am a life-long Democrat with strong ties to the labor community and a proud member of AFSCME Local #3631.  I fiercely advocate for women’s rights, LGBTQ equality, and economic justice.  I am also an active member of the Rocky River Democratic Club and my precinct committee person. 

I believe that my legal experience, labor background, and Democratic ideals prepare me to serve as a Judge in Cuyahoga County with dignity and compassion.

I would be honored to have your support for my campaign.


Jennifer O'Donnell