By Associated Press - Thursday, January 23, 2014

CLEVELAND (AP) - A Cleveland trial-level judge has announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the Ohio Supreme Court.

Judge John O’Donnell announced his candidacy on Thursday in Cleveland before supporters and several bench colleagues. He has been endorsed by the state party leadership, so his announcement was expected.

O’Donnell has served most of the past decade on the Cuyahoga (ky-uh-HOH’-guh) County Common Pleas bench. He says he has worked to avoid judicial labels as favoring one side or another.

He wants to challenge Justice Judith French, who was appointed by Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) to serve two years of an unexpired term. French previously served as an appeals court judge.

The Ohio Supreme Court currently has six Republicans and one Democrat.

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