The Seneca County Republican Party Central Committee hosted its annual Republican Candidates Night Potluck Dinner Tuesday night.
Although three Ohio Supreme Court candidates were billed to speak at the event, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Robert Cupp was the only candidate to attend.
"The role of a judge in our constitutional system, makes all the difference in the world," he said. "My view is that while a judge is important, a judge's role is a limited role. It's to apply the plain meaning of the statutes in the Constitution to cases and controversies that come before the court."
PHOTO BY ZACH GASE
Republican Central Committee Chairman David Koehl (right) looks on as Ohio Supreme Court Justice Robert Cupp tells people at the Seneca County Republican Party Candidates Night Potluck Dinner, “For the Supreme Court, Cupp measures up.”
Cupp, who has served as justice since 2007, said he wants the Supreme Court to start filing cases electronically.
He said if he's re-elected, he wants to encourage more "pro bono" legal services - when attorneys donate their services to people who cannot afford them.
Cupp, who has been elected in all three branches of government, said surveys show about half of voters are undecided in all three Supreme Court races.
"I wanted to let you know that this race is not over," he said. "In fact, in many respects it's just beginning."
He said although the judicial campaigns are not high profile, the races are important because the Ohio Supreme Court's decisions affect all Ohioans.
"The court does function in a nonpartisan fashion," Cupp said. "We don't represent any political party; we don't represent interest groups. Our oath is to apply the law as it is to the facts that come before the court."
Cupp said the Ohio Supreme Court voluntarily took a 10 percent cut in its appropriation for discretionary funds to help the state balance the budget.
Cupp asked everyone at the potluck dinner for their support in the election Nov. 6.
"Just tell them for the Supreme Court, Cupp measures up," he said. "I am running for re-election so it is okay to say, 'The Cupp runneth over."
State Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, also spoke briefly at the dinner. He said Seneca County is fortunate to have hosted two fair and well put-together candidate forums.
He also spoke about the welfare system, saying, "What the poor need, what the people on welfare need, is a job."
"If you can get (people on welfare) working, they're going to go," Damschroder said. "They're going to be self-sufficient; they're going to have a good feeling about themselves. I don't know how we're going to make anybody great being a hand-out society."
Councilman Jim Roberts spoke at the dinner about the city income tax issue. He said he voted to put the tax levy on the ballot because he thinks the people of Tiffin should decide.
He said state cuts to local governments were "disastrous" and if the levy does not pass, the city will have a "bare-bones budget."
"It's up to you," he said. "If you want the bare-bones budget, then you vote against the tax. If you want what we have right now, then you vote for the tax. It's your choice, and that's the way it should be."
Republican commissioner candidate Holly Stacy also spoke at the dinner, and she thanked everyone at the dinner for their support in the election.
"It's been a fun ride," she said, "but it's not over until it is over."
Also at the dinner Bryce Dukeshire, a junior at Fremont Ross, spoke about an event he hosted at Terra Community College where Ohio Supreme Court Justice Terrance O'Donnell spoke about his job as justice.
O'Donnell, Judge Sharon Kennedy, State Rep. Jeff McClain and State Sen. Dave Burke were invited to the event, but were unable to attend.
Leon Bird, a representative from Mitt Romney's campaign, spoke on behalf of the Republican presidential candidate.
Among reasons he gave for voting for Romney over President Barack Obama is that Obama's economic philosophies do not work.