Betty Sutton seek seat on Ninth District Court of Appeals



An incumbent 9th District Court of Appeals judge is facing a challenge from a former congresswoman who once represented Lorain County in Washington D.C.


“...Judge Julie Schafer will face off against former U.S. Congresswoman Betty Sutton in the November general election, according to the Summit County Board of Elections.


The five-judge panel is based in Akron and hears appeals for cases decided in courts in Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne counties. Current justices include Schafer, Lynne Callahan, Donna Carr, Jennifer Hensal and Thomas Teodosio.


Schafer, of Wadsworth in Medina County, was first elected to the appeals court in 2014.

She earned her law degree and an MBA from the University of Akron and was first elected to the Akron Municipal Court in 2013 after serving on the Copley-Fairlawn Board of Education for 14 years, including four elected terms. She also has served as a visiting judge with the Ohio Supreme Court.


Specializing in juvenile, domestic and probate law, Schafer is the mother of three adopted children and has been a foster parent for 15, one of whom also is an attorney.

A resident of Copley Township in Summit County, Sutton is a graduate of Kent State University and earned her law degree from the University of Akron School of Law. As an attorney, she specializes in labor law.


Sutton ran for lieutenant governor in 2018 on a ticket with gubernatorial candidate Richard Cordray. They were defeated by current Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted.

Sutton represented portions of Lorain County in Congress from 2007 to 2013, before redistricting created the 16th Congressional District and she was defeated by Republican Jim Renacci.


In 2006, Sutton ran for and won Sherrod Brown's congressional seat after he vacated it to run for U.S. Senate. Previous to that, Sutton served on Barberton City Council, Summit County Council and for eight years in the Ohio House of Representatives.

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