LIMA — Republican candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court Craig R. Baldwin started his campaign in December 2016 for the November 2018 election. He stopped in Lima Friday afternoon.
“The good thing about (early campaigning) is you can get out and meet people and build those relationships and learn about the different parts of the state. This is one of the best times of my professional life. I love going out. It’s a lot of fun,” said Baldwin.
Currently he serves as a judge of the Ohio Fifth District Court of Appeals, which covers 15 counties, Ashland, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Guernsey, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Richland, Stark and Tuscarawas. He has also served by assignment on the Ohio Supreme Court. He received his juris doctor from Capital University, bachelor of arts degree from Ohio University and pursued graduate degree work in public administration at Ohio University.
Baldwin’s competition in the election is Democrat Michael P. Donnelly, a current Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge.
Part of Baldwin’s explanation on why he is running for the Ohio Supreme Court is that he wants to uplift the political climate.
“I think the judiciary has a special role in our government to be above the political fray, to bring some integrity, some stability and some honor to our republic, or governmental system,” said Baldwin. “There’s other parts of this too, though. The philosophy is bigger than that. Every entity is looking for predictability and consistency, looking for cases to move along at the proper pace and urgency, looking for good decisions based on the law and facts and I think judges have a duty to lift that system up and promote those values or principles.”
Baldwin holds steadfast to the rules of the Constitution and using the document to rule on cases, without input from his personal beliefs or opinion.
“I believe when a judge rules on an issue, you look to the Constitution, you look to the statute, you look at the issues in front of you and you don’t inject your own personal policy, objectives or political views into it. You rule on the issue and then you’re humble enough to stop and not legislate from the bench. I think a lot of damage has been done to our country over the past years where judges begin to feel like they’re super legislatures and they know better than the legislators. The founding fathers were very clear, we have a brilliant document where the legislatures make law, the executive administers and executes and the judges interpret the law. There are judges who want to legislate from the bench, and I think it’s wrong. That’s something that I have not done,” said Baldwin. “That’s my vow to everybody that I’ll be a judge that looks at the issues and rules on the legal issues and stops.”
Baldwin believes his experience makes him the better candidate for Ohio Supreme Court Judge.
”I think because my experience as a lawyer, my experience as a common pleas judge, my experience in the Court of Appeals and as a visiting judge on the Ohio Supreme Court, I have a greater depth and width of experience. What people look to when they elect judges is that experience in background and how they do the job. I can step into it. I’ve been on the court as a visiting judge and I can do that,” said Baldwin.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.