Influential Republican strategist Karl Rove is soliciting donations for an Ohio Supreme Court justice's reelection bid, signaling the stakes involved in controlling the battleground state’s high court when congressional maps are redrawn next year.
This election determines whether the court retains a conservative majority. In a letter obtained by The Associated Press, Rove pleads with wealthy donors and Ohio law firms to support Republican Justice Judith French's campaign against state appeals court Judge Jennifer Brunner.
Rove’s fundraising plea focuses on not wanting Republicans to yield power over redistricting to Democrats, whose own line-drawing effort has been joined by former President Barack Obama and his attorney general.
For the first time since 1993, Democrats could gain the majority on the Ohio Supreme Court.
That would happen if both Republican incumbents Sharon Kennedy and French lose to Democratic challengers John O’Donnell and Brunner. Technically, Kennedy is running against O’Donnell and French is running against Brunner, but for all intents and purposes, the two Republicans and two Democrats are running as pairs.