Republican Hamilton County Common Pleas Court Judge Megan Shanahan announced her bid for the Ohio Supreme Court seat in 2024. Shanahan is the first to announce her candidacy.

According to Shanahan, she is running for an Ohio Supreme Court Seat because she understands the judiciary’s proper role of “interpreting the law, not legislating from the bench.”

Shanahan earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Kent State University before pursuing a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Law. She has been a Hamilton County Common Pleas Court judge since January 2015. Before that, she was a Hamilton County Municipal Court judge for four years, served five years as an assistant prosecutor, and began serving five years as a Butler County assistant prosecutor.

Shanahan has shown advocacy for issues involving public safety such as Ohio Issue 1 last year, an amendment to the Ohio Constitution that would allow judges to consider public safety when setting bail for dangerous offenders.

Recently, Shanahan was thought to be in consideration for the vacant Ohio Supreme Court seat left by Justice Sharon Kennedy when she filled the spot of chief justice formerly held by Maureen O’Connor. However, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine appointed former Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters to the vacancy.

Republicans also circulated Shanahan’s name as a potential replacement for Hamilton County prosecutor once Deters stepped into his new role on the state Supreme Court. Shanahan formerly worked for Deters when he served as Hamilton County prosecutor. However, The Hamilton County Republican Party selected Melissa Powers as the next county prosecutor instead.

Shanahan has yet to decide which Democratic incumbent justice she will challenge in 2024. Justices Michael Donnelly and Melody Stewart are up for re-election, and Deters must run for retention in 2024 and re-election in 2026. Deters may also take on Donnelly or Stewart to win a six-year term sooner and steer clear of numerous statewide contests.

Currently, the GOP has a 4-3 majority in the state Supreme Court.

Justices on the state Supreme Court are elected for six years.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Megan Shanahan” by Megan Shanahan.