State Watch

Ohio judge leaving GOP, citing change in party on national level

A judge in Ohio said she is leaving the GOP because the party on a national level no longer reflects the one she initially joined.

Franklin County Common Pleas Judge Julie Lynch filed paperwork with the county board of elections last week to run as a Democrat in future races, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

{mosads}“I’ve been a registered Republican since I was 18, and 41 years later I do not recognize the Republican Party as it is today,” she told the Columbus Dispatch. “And I’m not the same person I was when I was 18.”

Her filing makes it official that she will run as a Democrat next time she is up for reelection, in 2023.

She did not elaborate on the specifics that led to her decision.

Lynch told the Dispatch she “can’t articulate all the things that are disturbing to me, because that would not be appropriate for a judge. I’ll let my action speak louder than my words.”

While ballots for judges in Ohio do not indicate political affiliation, primaries within parties take place for Common Please Court judges and candidates are back by political parties, according to the Dispatch.

Columbus, Ohio’s largest city and a recent Democratic stronghold that went heavily for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, is within Franklin County, and in the 2018 election Democrats won six of seven seats on the Franklin Country Common Pleas Court.

However, Lynch said the recent voting did not influence her decision to switch parties.

“That ebbs and flows,” she said. “When I started out, Republicans were dominant, but there were still Democratic judges. … I’ve always had support from Democrats and Republicans and independents.”

Several GOP state lawmakers in Kansas recently left the party and became Democrats last year, citing differences in educational policies.

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