Please provide bio information/professional experience that qualifies you to be a judge – My name is Judy A. Gano and I am a conservative Republican running in the May 2 Republican primary to become your Judge of the Clinton County Municipal Court. I married G. Allen Gano on July 20, 1985 and moved to Wilmington on July 21, 1985. Allen and I have a daughter named Jacqueline Gano and a son in law named James Lockhart who also reside in Clinton County. I received my law degree from the University of Arkansas School of Law and was granted the right to practice law in the State of Ohio by the Ohio Supreme Court in January 1986. I was licensed to practice law in both Ohio and Arkansas until December 2021 when I voluntarily turned in my Arkansas license. I was granted the right to practice law before the Supreme Court of the United States of America in August 1987. I am also licensed to practice law before the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and all Ohio courts.
After moving to Clinton County, I became the Prosecutor for the City of Wilmington and for the Village of Blanchester. In 1992 I was appointed the Law Director for the City of Wilmington. After the appointment, I ran for the position and won. I held the position of Law Director until my term was up in December 1999. Since both of the prosecutor positions and the Director of Law position were considered part time positions, I was able to have a private law practice. For several years, my husband, Allen Gano, and I practiced law together at Gano Law Offices. Once he left the firm to become the Probate/Juvenile Judge, I continued the private law practice. Although Allen retired from the bench several years ago, I am still actively practicing law today. On occasions throughout my time working in Clinton County both Ronald Carey and William Peelle have appointed me as a Special Prosecutor by Assignment to handle felony cases where their office might have a conflict. In addition to my private law practice, Judge Tim Rudduck hired me as his Magistrate in the Clinton County Municipal Court. For over three years, I sat on the bench in that Court and heard and decided cases. I also gained additional experience in 2001 and 2005 when Judge Nancy Hammond of the Fayette County Probate/Juvenile Court hired me as her Magistrate to hear cases in that Court.
Please explain your judicial philosophy. My judicial philosophy is simple. I would strive to be fair and impartial to all parties involved in any case that was before me. I would base my decision on the facts that were presented before me in open court and the law as it was written. I do not believe that a Judge should try to rewrite the law to fit some personal belief that he/she has in the matter. Our Republic has a divided system of government for a good reason. The legislative branch makes the laws, the executive branch enforces the laws and the judiciary applies the laws as written to the facts in each case presented to them. Furthermore, I think that it is the Judge’s duty to treat every violation of our laws and Ordinances as a serious matter. There is a theory of law enforcement called the broken window theory that says that if there is a house in a neighborhood that has a broken window that goes unrepaired, pretty soon there are other houses in that neighborhood that have broken windows. If the windows are not repaired within a reasonable period of time, the neighborhood deteriorates and now more serious crime gets committed in that neighborhood. I believe that the Judge needs to take a firm position to enforce our trespass and vandalism laws as well as the code enforcement ordinances of Wilmington and the Villages in Clinton County.
How will I balance being an independent judge and an elected official? The Ohio Supreme Court has a special set of rules for Judges and Judicial candidates referred to as the Ohio Code of Judicial Conduct. Canon 4 of that Code sets forth a very detailed list of dos and don’ts for a Judge or Judicial candidate when it comes to navigating the political process or being an elected judge. It has only been within the last couple of years that a judicial candidate could have a political party identification on his/her campaign material. When I announced that I would be running for the position of Judge of the Clinton County Municipal Court, I immediately resigned my membership in the Clinton County Republican Women’s Club. Although I consider myself a lifelong conservative Republican and I enjoyed being involved with this fine group of people, I made the choice to resign so that I could avoid the appearance of any favoritism to this group, I do think that a Judge should always rise above politics and rule based on what is fair to all parties.
Why should citizens vote for you as municipal court judge? Citizens should vote for me as their Judge of the Clinton County Municipal Court because I am the most qualified person for this position. I have over 35 years of legal experience. A large part of that experience has been gained by working in municipal courts. For over three years as Judge Rudduck’s Magistrate, I sat on the bench in the Clinton County Municipal Court and heard and decided cases. I got to know firsthand how important it is to people who come before the court to know that they are being treated with respect and fairness and given equal justice under the law. Our entire judicial system works because people rely on the fact that the judge hearing their case keeps those ideals paramount when making a decision in the case. I think that our society as a whole is eroding those values and thus people are losing faith that we do have a legal system where everyone regardless of the color of their skin or the size of their bank account is given equal justice under the law. That thought saddens me. I am a strong believer that we should give back to our community and use whatever talents God gave us to help make it a better place to live. My talents and experiences are in the legal field. I know that if I am elected as your Judge for the Clinton County Municipal Court, I will do my part in insuring that everyone who comes before the court will be treated with respect and given equal justice under the law.