XENIA — Candidates for the Second District Court of Appeals and Ohio State Senate District 10 recently gave voters reasons why they are best for the job.
Greene County Tea Party’s Meet the Candidates Night brought residents to the Xenia Adult Recreation and Services Center Feb. 18 to listen to each speaker’s allotted three minutes.
Second District Court of Appeals
In the Second District Court of Appeals race, Chris Epley and Jeff Rezabek will be on the Republican primary ballot while Marshall G. Lachman will be on the Democrat ballot.
Lachman (D), who will face the Republican winner in November, was not present at the forum.
District 2 covers Champaign, Clark, Darke, Greene, Miami, and Montgomery counties.
Epley (R), born and raised in the Miami Valley, said he’s been practicing law for more than 20 years — including in all six counties in the district.
The lawyer gave reasons why he’s most qualified to be judge, citing three roles he currently holds.
Epley said he’s been an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton School of Law since 2001, teaching appellate practice and procedure.
“We work with students and prepare them to practice in front of the Court of Appeals, to make them feel at ease when they’re in front of three judges who are hearing their case,” Epley said.
Epley said he’s also a Dayton magistrate, appointed by judicial officers in 2010 to hear cases.
“When you’re appointed, you keep that appointment as long as you’re doing a good job,” he said.
The third role he listed was prosecutor. Epley prosecutes cases in Vandalia Municipal Court and is the chief appellate counsel in the office.
“I believe in a conservative, measured approach to decision making,” Epley said, closing. “Legislators make the laws. The judges interpret them. And that’s the way I believe.”
Rezabek (R), originally from western New York, attended the University of Dayton for undergrad, then studied psychology before beginning law school. He has a law practice and has practiced for more than 24 years in all six counties at all levels.
Rezabek said his diverse experience, including as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives in District 43, has prepared him for judgeship.
“I’ve seen how the law is made. I know that each and every word is important and why it was chosen,” he said. “But if you want to be a legislator, go be a legislator. Don’t be a judge. I want to be a judge in this matter.”
Rezabek said he’s also served as a Dayton magistrate, but that serving as a judge in Montgomery County Juvenile Court is what sets him apart from his opponent.
“There’s never been a juvenile court judge sitting on that bench,” he said. “That’s really important. Why? Because deciding the lives of children, the rights of parents, taking that time and sitting on that bench and making those decisions and knowing what the law was and applying it is what I did.”
According to Rezabek, he passed all of his pass/fail tests, and was never overturned during his time on the bench.
Ohio State Senate, District 10
Ohio’s 10th senatorial district is in south-central Ohio, comprised of Clark, Greene and Madison counties.
Incumbent Sen. Robert Hackett, a Republican, will be challenged in November by Democrat Charles Ballard.
Hackett (R) attended the meet-and-greet part of the forum, but was unable to stay to speak.
“I’m not going to talk about myself … I’m going to talk about us,” Ballard (D) began.
Ballard called candidates “role models for our communities,” stressing the importance of attacking the issues, not the person.
“In this hyper-partisan world, it’s easy to go low, especially in a presidential campaign,” Ballard continued. “In this world we need each other. The recent Memorial Day tornadoes, the Gem City shootings, showed us that we have more in common.”
Ballard ended his speech by asking people in the crowd to close their eyes and raise their hands if they value their families’ safety, and want them to have good jobs and a clean environment.
“Everyone, open your eyes,” he said. “We all want the same things, so we should focus on these issues and not on the person.”
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