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It's time to learn about the candidates on the November 08 ballot. This is a BIG election that will affect our daily lives. Meet Judge Marilyn Zayas, candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court.

Judge Marilyn Zayas is one of the 3 "Sisters-in-Law" who are campaigning for seats on the Ohio Supreme Court this Fall. On November 8, you can vote for her and Judge Terri Jamison to join the Ohio Supreme Court and for Justice Jennifer Brunner to become the Court's Chief Justice. [Early voting begins Oct. 12 and absentee ballots are available at the Board of Elections office]

Judge Zayas is the first Latina ever elected to an Ohio Court of Appeals. After her election, our Court of Appeals held its first all female, three judge panel. Judge Zayas has experience in the Ohio Supreme Court, being selected by the current Chief Justice to sit in for a recused Justice. She has litigated in State and Federal Courts and has run her own law practice.

Growing up in New York City neighborhoods devastated by drugs and crime, Judge Zayas was inspired to become an attorney at age 17 after accompanying her parents to court during their divorce. But she first became an IT manager for Procter & Gamble, a move that brought her to Cincinnati. While raising three small children, she returned to school and became a lawyer at age 32.

Judge Zayas has over 20 years of legal experience in both the private and public sectors dealing with juvenile and family law, intellectual property law, immigration law, labor and employment law, and criminal defense.

She has also served as an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law where she provided legal training to judges, magistrates, attorneys, and the Cincinnati FBI.

It is Judge Zayas’s “priority to ensure that every case is properly heard, and the law is applied with balance and consistency.” She believes, “It is important to have a combination of different backgrounds and experiences to thoroughly review the cases, especially in those cases where error occurred and must be corrected.”

Judge Zayas’s opponent, incumbent Justice Pat DeWine, refused to recuse himself from two gerrymandering lawsuits involving his father, Governor Mike DeWine. State ethical rules for judges require them to recuse themselves in cases involving close relatives or otherwise where they may be an appearance of impartiality.

Judge Zayas created the Educating Tomorrow’s Leader Program to inspire students by inviting them into the Court of Appeals to interact with judges and attorneys and learn about the law.

She has worked tirelessly to improve the rights of immigrants. As an attorney, Judge Zayas partnered with several law enforcement agencies on victims’ advocacy issues to develop best practices so that foreign born victims would overcome their fears, report crimes, cooperate with the investigation of crimes, and appear for court proceedings.

Judge Zayas currently serves on the Ohio Supreme Court’s Board of Character and Fitness, the Ohio Supreme Court’s Ethics, Professionalism, and Diversity Committee, the board of the Immigrant and Refugee Law Center, and the board of Beech Acres Parenting Center.

Judge Zayas is the recipient of many awards including the YWCA Career Women’s Achiever’s Award, 2019. She was featured on Good Morning America in a 2021 segment “Who is Making Hispanic Latinx History Right Now.”

She is rated “Excellent”, the highest rating by the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association.

Judge Zayas graduated from University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1997 and holds a degree in Computer Science from the City College of New York (1984.)


Official Website:

Good Morning America Feature:

Opponent, Pat DeWine Refuses to Recuse Himself:

Published Opinions:




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