The Election Night Winner of 2020? Fair Districts.
Jennifer Brunner, a judge on Ohio’s Tenth District Court of Appeals and former Ohio Secretary of State, won her race for the Ohio Supreme Court by a whopping 10 percentage points last week, according to the unofficial tally.
The justice-elect’s win marks our third flipped seat in two years, and takes our court from zero Democrats to three (out of seven seats) in two cycles. It was one of only five statewide pickups in the nation — and the only one in a state where Trump won at the top of the ticket.
The importance of securing the third seat on the Ohio Supreme Court — the first time we’ve held three seats since 1994 — can not be overstated. There’s a reason Karl Rove and national Republicans spent well over $1 million on nasty, false ads attacking Judge Brunner.
They knew what we knew — that this seat was the game changer.
Because Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor — a Republican — has opposed the majority by voting against the current maps, we are confident that a majority on this court will reject any attempt to circumvent the Ohio Constitution’s new language requiring fair districts. That means the end of decades of gerrymandering and rigged elections in Ohio!
The implications of fair maps are enormous. Ohio is consistently ranked as one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, where politicians choose their voters, not the other way around.
Beyond redistricting, this win is also huge for key issues like reproductive rights and criminal justice reform, on which Chief Justice O’Connor has sided with Democratic judges in the past.
Congratulations to Justice-elect Jennifer Brunner! You are going to make Ohio so proud.
And thank you to every grassroots volunteer and donor who worked over the past five years to pass redistricting reform (not just once, but twice!) and elect three Democratic justices to the state’s highest court. It took four elections to achieve this result, but it will pay dividends for the next decade and beyond.