Attorney Erik R. Blaine was appointed to the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court bench Tuesday by Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
Blaine, a 2006 University of Dayton law school graduate, will replace Michael Tucker, who won an unopposed race for a seat on the Second District Court of Appeals.
Blaine will begin as judge on May 18, but he can run in November 2018 to retain the seat for the full term, which begins Jan. 6, 2019.
“It is an honor and the call itself was very humbling,” Blaine told this news organization. “I appreciate the governor’s confidence in me.”
Blaine has worked at Wright & Schulte since January 2012 and is the Chairman of the Greater Dayton Area Friends of the NRA.
“This is still a relatively new appointment,” Blaine said. “It’s something I’ll be looking at with a close, discerning eye to determine what I can and cannot continue and what I can help and hand off and what I have to step down from.”
Blaine said he must close down his law practice and make sure his clients are represented.
“We are proud of Erik’s many accomplishments in private practice and look forward to his transition into public service as a Judge,” attorneys Michael Wright and Richard Schulte said in a joint statement. “He will be a great addition to the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.”
Blaine worked as a law clerk for U.S. District Court Judge Walter Rice and received his undergraduate degree from UD. He also worked as an assistant prosecutor in Shelby County and as both an acting magistrate judge and special assistant city prosecutor in Vandalia Municipal Court.
Blaine was one of three candidates put forward by the Montgomery County Republican Party, sources said. The others were attorney Anthony VanNoy and Julie Droessler, personnel director at the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office.
Under judicial philosophy on his resume, Blaine wrote that he’s a life-long Republican.
“The Republican ideals of limited government, personal responsibility, and individual liberty have guided both my personal and professional life,” he wrote. “If I receive the honor to serve as judge on the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court, I will vigilantly ensure that my court is a beacon of fairness, impartiality, and the rule of law as determined by the legislators of the General Assembly who have been duly elected by the people.”
Blaine said he hasn’t looked at who may be on his staff. Asked about party politics when he dons the robe, Blaine said: “The bench is something that is very apolitical. The framers have set it up that way.”