By Don Daiker, Photos by Daniel Fairbanks
Ohio Supreme Court Justice Melody Stewart addressed an exuberant crowd of 65 at the 10th Anniversary Celebration of the Butler County Progressive Political Action Committee Tuesday night at the Oxford home of Peggy and Steve Jamison.
Justice Stewart, the first African-American woman ever elected to Ohio’s highest court, spoke of her campaign that led to her upset of incumbent Justice Mary DeGenaro, 52.5% to 47.5%, in November’s election. Stewart had received the highest recommendation of all judicial candidates from the non-partisan Ohio Bar Association.
Before her election, Justice Stewart had served for three terms on Ohio’s Eighth District Court of Appeals. She earned her bachelors degree from the University of Cincinnati, her doctorate from Case-Western Reserve University, and her law degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. Please see below for more about Justice Stewart.
The Progressive PAC elected the following to one-year terms: President, Steve Jamison; President Emeritus, Don Daiker; Vice-President, Patty Klingenberg; Secretary, Bill Gracie; Treasurer, Mike Ball; and Executive Board Members Margarette Beckwith, Clare DiCuccio (MU ’21), Marilyn Elzey, Caroline Roethlisberger (MU ’20 ), Ian Vanness, and Shawn Vanness.
Past and prospective candidates attending included Kathy Wyenandt, who ran strong in Ohio’s 52nd legislative district and is considering running again; Susan Vaughn, who announced that she is a candidate for Hamilton City Council; Vanessa Enoch, outstanding Congressional candidate (Ohio 8) last November and perhaps again in 2020; Matthew Guyette, prospective congressional candidate; Kathleen Knight Abowitz, considering a run for the Talawanda Board of Eduction (please encourage her); Mark Hardig; and Ryan Montgomery, Trenton City Councilman who is thinking about Ohio’s 53rd legislative district.
VIPs attending included Mayor Kate Rousmaniere and past Oxford Mayors Jerome Conley and Prue Dana; Oxford City Council Members Chantel Raghu and Edna Carter Southard; Talawanda Board of Education Member Pat Meade; former judge Tracie Hunter; Butler County Democratic Party Chair Brian Hester; and reporters Mike Pittman of the Journal-News and Bob Ratterman of The Oxford Press.
The Butler County Progressive PAC was founded in December 2008 by activists in the Obama-Biden campaign who wanted to keep the momentum going. Since then they have endorsed and helped fund progressive candidates in every local, county, and state election. The PAC is actively seeking candidates for local office in 2019 and for county and state legislative office in 2020.