Two incumbent Ohio Supreme Court justices unseated

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by MARC KOVAC | CAPITAL BUREAU CHIEF Columbus -- Two incumbent Ohio Supreme Court justices were unseated Nov. 6, though the political makeup of the state's high court will remain the same. Both Robert Cupp and Yvette McGee Brown lost their seats, according to final but unofficial election results posted on the Ohio Secretary of State's website. Cupp, a Republican seeking a second term, fell to Bill O'Neill, a Democrat and former appeals court judge who has run for the Ohio Supreme Court and Congress in recent elections. McGee Brown, a Democrat who was appointed in the final days of Gov. Ted Strickland's term, lost to Sharon Kennedy, a common pleas judge from Butler County. The lone incumbent to retain his seat was Justice Terrence O'Donnell, a Republican who cruised back to the bench over Democratic state Sen. Mike Skindell. "I cannot tell you what a privilege it is to serve as an elected justice of the Ohio Supreme Court," O'Donnell told a cheering crowd at the Ohio Republican Party's election night gathering near the Statehouse. "But let me assure you, that in a 32-year judicial career, I have dedicated myself to the law. I have dedicated my career to public service. ... I belong to Ohio." Final counts will be completed later in the month. O'Donnell far outpaced the other high court candidates, snagging 69 percent of the vote to Skindell's 31 percent (2.7 million-1.2 million). The other two races were closer, with the newcomers edging the incumbents. O'Neill topped Cupp, 52 percent-48 percent (2 million-1.85 million), according to the unofficial results. O'Neill served a decade on the 11th District Court of Appeals. This was the third time he sought a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. Cupp, a former state senator, was elected to the Ohio Supreme Court in 2006 after serving as an appeals court judge in the 3rd District (northwestern Ohio). Kennedy, meanwhile, unseated McGee Brown, 57 percent-43 percent (about 2.3 million-1.7 million), according to the unofficial results. Kennedy, the lone Supreme Court candidate to receive a "not recommended" rating from the Ohio Bar Association, topped McGee Brown for an unfinished term on the court. She'll have to run for re-election in two years. Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog. WilliamONeill.jpg TerrenceODonnell.jpg SharonKennedy.jpg

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