Probate judge keeps seat on bench


XENIA — Incumbent Judge Thomas O’Diam will retain his seat in Greene County Probate Court.

O’Diam led 41,663 votes, or 61.14 percent, to challenger Mark Babb’s 26,481 votes, or 38.86 percent, according to unofficial final results from the Board of Elections. Those results were not available at press time Tuesday night.

“I’m very happy about the results because I love my job and I was hoping I’d get to stay,” O’Diam said by phone Wednesday. “I’m very humbled and appreciative of the support I received from not only individuals but all voters in Greene County, and I promise to do as I did in my first term to give it my all to give them the best public service they could possibly get.”

O’Diam became Greene County probate judge in 2013, filling the unexpired term of retired Judge Robert Hagler. He was elected to a full six-year term in 2014, and his second term will begin Feb. 9, 2021.

The probate judge from Xenia also spent 28 years in private practice as a certified specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law. During his campaign, he cited his experience as the reason voters should keep him on the bench.

“Probate is a very specialized court; it’s not something that just anybody can do,” O’Diam said. “It takes a lot of experience to understand all the nuances of probate law.”

O’Diam previously said Babb simply didn’t have the experience needed to do the job. Babb, of Yellow Springs, is the managing partner of Babb, Anderson, Rowland, & Smith, LLC in Fairborn. In an effort to unseat the current judge, Babb used his campaign to call out O’Diam over the courtroom dispute that the Supreme Court ruled on earlier this year.

O’Diam plans to improve the county’s probate court with modern technology and updated laws.

And he’s gotten a head start. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the judge has made many services accessible online. He also recently drafted legislation to streamline name change procedures across the state.

On Wednesday, O’Diam said new updates residents can expect include being able to use credit cards for payments, as well as improvements to the case management system.

Results are unofficial until they are certified by the Secretary of State after an official canvass done three weeks post-election. Greene County currently has reported 2,271 outstanding absentee ballots and 2,256 outstanding provisional ballots.



By Anna Bolton

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Call 937-502-4498 or follow Anna Bolton, Reporter on Facebook.

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