Ohio's First Elected Latina Judge Installed

Jan 10, 2017
Originally published on January 9, 2017 2:49 pm

Judge Marilyn Zayas was sworn in Monday morning to the First District Court of Appeals. She is the first Latina elected as a judge in Ohio.

Speaking during her investiture ceremony, Zayas recognized others that have come before her.

"At some point there would have been the first Irish judge," she says. "There would have been the first German judge, the first female judge, the first African American judge. Every first that came before me has laid a stepping stone so that there will be more firsts after them. I have to acknowledge that and thank every first that came before me because they're the ones that also allowed me to be here."

Zayas, a Democrat, stunned the local Republican Party by winning in her first bid for elective office over an established Republican opponent in Judge Peter Stautberg, a former state representative. Stautberg had been appointed to the First District Court of Appeals by Gov. John Kasich in March 2015. 

Zayas took the oath of office with her mother by her side. She called the moment profound and something she had never dreamt of as a child growing up in New York.

She concluded her remarks with a commitment: "I will serve this county. I will look at every case that comes before me. I will look at it carefully. I will consider everything. And I will be faithful to the law."

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