Monday, April 23, 2007

Two New Dem Cuyahoga Board Members Appointed

Ohio - Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner announced Monday the appointment of the two Democratic seats to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.

Davis Chappell, a partner with Ulmer &Berne law firm of Cleveland and chair of the firm's non-profit group is the first Democratic appointee. She was named an "Ohio Super Lawyer" in January 2007 in a survey of Ohio
lawyers conducted by Law and Politics and Cincinnati magazines.

She previously represented the Cleveland school district and is the former board chair of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Cleveland. Chappell holds a bachelor's degree from Yale University and a law degree from Columbia University.

Eben "Sandy" McNair, a partner with Schwarzwald & McNair of Cleveland, is the second Democratic appointee. McNair brings 25 years legal experience in labor, employment and more recently election related work and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America McNair holds a bachelor's degree from St. Lawrence University, a Master's degree from The University of Chicago and a law degree from Cornell University.

Chappell and McNair replace Democrats Ed Coaxum and Loree Soggs, respectively who resigned from the board last month. Secretary Brunner sought the resignations in the wake of well-publicized problems at the agency. Brunner met personally with six finalists for the two board positions last week in Cleveland.

"I am impressed with the new generation of leadership who have stepped up to serve their community," said Brunner.
Chappell and Sandy McNair represent some of the best the greater Cleveland community has to offer to restore confidence in Cuyahoga County's election process. They are committed to the highest quality of public service and ready to put the time and effort to the task," added Brunner.

"I am optimistic about the future of the Cuyahoga Board and have a great deal of confidence in the three newly appointed Board members," added Brunner.

Former Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Jeff Hastings, a Republican was the first board member appointed last week.

The local Republican Party plans to submit a recommendation to Secretary Brunner for the remaining GOP seat on the elections board after its May 5 executive committee meeting.

I do not know either of these women, and certainly reserve judgment until seeing them in action. I thus, do not know yet if being named a "Super Lawyer" or listed in The Best Lawyers in America is a positive or negative when it comes to citizens' fair, accurate, transparent, verifiable elections.

I do hope that the last board member yet to be named by the Republicans is not yet another lawyer, however. That to me, might potentially represent too narrow of a viewpoint when it comes to the sociological aspects of elections.

The best of luck to them all as they come up to speed in their duties.

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