On July 24th, Governor Mike DeWine appointed Kristy S. Wilkin of Hillsboro to the vacancy on the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Wilkin will replace Judge Matthew McFarland of Scioto County who was nominated by President Donald J. Trump and later confirmed by the United States Senate on December 18, 2019.
The Fourth District Court of Appeals consists of the following fourteen counties: Adams, Highland, Scioto, Ross, Pike, Pickaway, Hocking, Vinton, Jackson, Lawrence, Gallia, Athens, Meigs, and Washington. According to the Ohio Supreme Court, Courts of Appeals are established by Article IV, Section 1 of the Ohio Constitution, and their jurisdiction is outlined in Article IV, Section 3. As intermediate level appellate courts, their primary function is to hear appeals from the Common pleas, Municipal and County courts. Each case is heard and decided by a three-judge panel.
Court of Appeals judges are elected in even-numbered years to six-year terms on a nonpartisan ballot. Appellate judges must be attorneys with at least six years of experience in the practice of law. The Governor makes appointments to fill vacancies in courts of appeals that occur between elections. Governor DeWine waited over 8 months to fill this vacancy. The Informer has requested the list of applicants for the Fourth District judgeship from the Governor’s Press Secretary on multiple occasions since late February. The Governor’s Office has yet to respond to The Informer’s request.
Wilkin will assume office on August 3, 2020, and must run for election on November 3, 2020 for the remainder of the unexpired term ending February 8, 2023. Before being placed on the ballot for the upcoming General Election, Wilkin must seek the Republican nomination from a district committee consisting of the chairperson and secretary of the respective Republican county central committees of each county in the district. The Democratic Party will also have the ability to select a nominee to be placed on the ballot.
Wilkin is currently a partner at the Peelle Law Offices in Hillsboro. She has served as an adjunct professor at Southern State Community College. Wilkin received her bachelor’s degree from Xavier University and her law degree from Ohio Northern University.
“Kristy Wilkin will be an outstanding Judge on the Court of Appeals,” said Bill Foster, Chairman of the Adams County Republican Central Committee. “Her experience will serve us all well and we are looking forward to supporting her this fall.”
Wilkin serves on the Board of Trustees of Southern State Community College, is a member of the Highland County Chamber of Commerce Board, and is a member of both the Highland and Clinton County Bar Associations. Wilkin is married to State Representative Shane Wilkin (R-91st District) and has two young daughters.