Buying Time 2016 - Ohio

This page features campaign advertisements from Ohio's 2016 state supreme court elections.

May 30, 2017

Three seats were up for election on the Ohio Supreme Court in 2016. Ohio Supreme Court justices are chosen in partisan primaries and the top vote-getter for each party advances to the general election. If a judge is running unopposed in the primary, he or she automatically advances to the general election. Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor ran unopposed in both the primary and general election. Current Supreme Court Justice Judith Lanzinger will reach the mandatory age of retirement this year, leaving an open seat on the court. Judge Pat Fischer defeated Court of Appeals Judge Colleen O’Toole in the Republican primary for this seat and faced Court of Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell , who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, in the general election. Court of Appeals Judge Pat DeWine, a Republican, and Court of Appeals Judge Cynthia Rice, a Democrat, did not face primary challengers in their contest for another open seat previously held by Justice Paul Pfeifer, who also reached the mandatory retirement age. On November 8, Judge Pat Fischer and Judge Pat DeWine were both elected to their respective seats. 

The Brennan Center used multiple sources for spending information, which showed the following: 

Kantar Media/CMAG: Estimated Total Spending: $1,321,570*

  • Estimated Spending by Pat Fischer: $324,660
  • Estimated Spending by Trumbull County Democratic Party: $2,210
  • Estimated Spending by the Republican State Leadership Committee: $233,960
  • Estimated Spending by Pat DeWine: $557,730
  • Estimated Spending by John O'Donnell: $56,930
  • Estimated Spending by John O'Donnell and Cynthia Rice: $96,290
  • Estimated Spending by Cynthia Rice: $49,890

*Spending figures last updated: May 30, 2017

FCC Contracts: Recorded TV Contracts$1,896,717*

  • Recorded ad buys for Pat DeWine: $672,215
  • Recorded ad buys for Pat Fischer: $264,016
  • Recorded ad buys for the Republican State Leadership Committee: $621,800
  • Recorded ad buys for John O'Donnell & Gary Cook (a Court of Appeals candidate): $5,625
  • Recorded ad buys for John O'Donnell & Cynthia Rice: $89,450
  • Recorded ad buys for John O'Donnell: $178,636
  • Recorded ad buys for Cynthia Rice: $64,975

*Recorded ad buys last updated November 2, 2016.

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Advertisements


November 1 -  Experienced Tough Fair

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad highlights O'Donnell's qualifications and Rice's endorsement from the Fraternal Order of Police.

Sponsor: Cynthia Rice and John O'Donnell

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $96,290


October 31 -  Only One

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad compares Rice's experience and qualification to DeWine's. 

Sponsor: Cynthia Rice

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $49,890


October 31 -  The People's Court

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad says O'Donnell makes sure "working people get a fair shake against big corporations."

Sponsor: John O'Donnell

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $56,930


October 30 -  Decades of Experience

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad highlights DeWine's experience and rating as an excellent judge.

Sponsor: Pat DeWine

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $557,730


October 28 -  The Course of History

Stream Video(QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad endorses Cynthia Rice and other lower court judges.

Sponsor: Trumbull County Democratic party

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $1,700


October 18 -  Child Predators

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad says Pat Fischer is "tough on sexual predators, child molesters."

Sponsor: Republican State Leadership Committee

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $54,540


October 12 -  Tough Fair Courageous

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad says Fischer's courage "will keep criminals in jail and off our streets."

Sponsor: Republican State Leadership Committee

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $179,420


October 12 -  Fair Justice for All 15

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad says Fischer is "supported by law enforcement, dedicated to our community, and ensuring fair justice for all."

Sponsor: Pat Fischer

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $264,510


March 3 -  TCDP Endorsements

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

The Trumbull County Democratic party endorses judicial candidates including Cynthia Rice or the Supreme Court.

Sponsor: Trumbull County Democratic Party

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $510


March 1 -  Well Respected 15

Stream Video (QT) | Download Storyboard

This ad describes Fischer as "a well respected judge" and a "conservative Republican." 

Sponsor: Pat Fischer

Estimated Spending (Kantar Media/CMAG): $60,150


News


Catherine Candisky, Fischer Gets GOP Nomination for Ohio Supreme Court, The Columbus Dispatch, March 15, 2016. 

Jeremy Pelzer, First Ohio Supreme Court Ad to Hit Airwaves: What to Watch for Monday, cleveland.com, February 28, 2016


Methodology


All data on ad airings and spending on ads are calculated and prepared by Kantar Media/CMAG, which captures satellite data in the nation’s largest media markets. CMAG’s estimates do not reflect ad agency commissions or the costs of producing advertisements, nor do they reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable channels. Cost estimates are revised by Kantar Media/CMAG when it receives updated data, resulting in some fluctuations in the reported ad spending.

Data on spending on ads was also compiled from ad purchase contracts posted by the FCC and from state disclosure databases when available.