MOUNT VERNON — Knox County Democrats had a full house for their annual chili supper Wednesday. They were enthusiastic about greeting the speakers, who essentially led a pep rally to kick off a presidential election year.
The keynote speaker was Ohio Supreme Court Justice Yvette McGee Brown, who has served on the court since being appointed by Gov. Ted Strickland in January 2011. She is the only Democrat on the seven-member court and is the first African-American woman to serve on the court. Out of the 153 justices who have served on the state court in 209 years, she is only the eighth woman.
Court candidates are severely restricted in what they can talk about in a campaign, so she talked about her background: How her mother worked in a factory eight hours a day, then cleaned offices at night to support her children. And how her grandmother always spoke of hope and how, if they believed in themselves, they could be whatever they wanted to be.
She wove that into explaining how she enjoys the intellectual challenge of being on the court and working with a diverse set of colleagues who, although they may disagree on issues, try to come to the right decisions.