The 4th District votes for judge

By Kimberly Jenkins -



Submitted Photos


Submitted Photos

Jason Smith, Attorney at Law in Ironton, is running against incumbent Marie Hoover for the 4th District Court of Appeals Judge.

Both candidates were given the opportunity to speak to the Portsmouth Daily Times on the race and what they have to offer to the voters in Scioto County and the other 13 counties this job entails. Those 14 counties include: Adams, Athens, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Scioto, Vinton, and Washington.

Smith says he got in the race, because he really didn’t like what he was seeing everyday on the news with some of the ways judges were making law and policy from the bench. “I really felt like our constitution was being ignored, so I got in the race in order to change that.”

Smith went to Law School at The Ohio State University and graduated in 1999. “I was an assistant prosecutor in Lawrence County, I’ve also been an in-house corporate attorney for a company called McGinnis Inc. based in South Point, Ohio. It is a boat and barge company with shipyards in South Point, Cincinnati, Paducah, Kentucky, St. Louis and New Orleans.”

When asked what made him a good choice for Appellate Judge, he said, “In addition to the two things I just said, I’ve also been in private practice for the past several years, I do criminal defense, divorce, and other civil work and juvenile law. I feel like I’ve got a wide range of experience in a lot of different areas of the law, which being an appellate judge, you are going to have cases in all of those different areas. It’s not just one type of case that comes before the court. So, I think my experience in all those different areas of the law would be very beneficial.”

Smith only said this as why he would be a better choice than his opponent, “Basically, I feel I have a different approach to reviewing cases than she does.”

And as to why he is a good pick for Scioto County, “I’m the neighbor of Scioto County, I’ve practiced in Scioto County on a regular basis. I love Scioto County, I love the people down there and I would treat them the same as if I lived next door to them.”

Finally, he stated, “If you want somebody that is going to protect your rights, and your freedoms that were guaranteed by our constitution, I am the one to vote for.”

Marie Hoover is the incumbent for the 4th District Court of Appeals, running against Smith. Hoover says that her experience is what makes her the better candidate. “I’ve written over 300 decisions, I’ve voted on over 600 decisions already, prior to taking the bench, I’ve written over 65 appeals I did the oral arguments on portions of those. I’ve been a magistrate for Portsmouth Municipal Court, I’ve worked at the public defenders office as a contract attorney. I was law director for the city of Waverly, Solicitor for the village of Piketon, and during that time, I have ran a private practice for over 18 years, I have a lot more experience than my opponent does.”

What makes her better for Scioto County, she says, is that the 4th District covers 14 counties, but she says, that she rents space in the Scioto County Courthouse, and her expenses are divided among the 14 counties, but Scioto County gets the benefit of her rent and that makes her highly accessible to the people of Scioto County.

“I love my community so much. My whole campaign, I’ve been spending money on charitable contributions, I’m not doing the mailers and things like that, I‘ve been going to events that raise awareness for things like Alzheimers, childhood cancer drugs… but, I do this all the time, not just when I am campaigning. I’ve been running a lot of races in the area, two marathons, and a half marathon. We’ve given scholarships to kids for years and years, I’ve done mock trials, and I’ve spent my whole adult life in Scioto County.”

She stated, “I do a lot of martial arts, yoga, and I run a lot. All those things, require focus, work ethic, and discipline. I’m hoping everyone can draw that common line there,” she was saying that her job as the 4th District Appeals Judge requires the exact same things.

In her final statement she said, “My family is very important to me, I’ve been married to my husband for 20 some years and he’s a lifelong resident and practices law in Portsmouth. I have two children, a 20 year old in his first year of law school on a full tuition scholarship, and an 18 year old, who is a senior at Shawnee State University in Bio medical sciences. I put a lot into my kids, 110%. I do everything 110%, I do this job at 110%, if I’m practicing law, I do it at 110%.”

Smith Submitted Photos

Hoover Submitted Photos

By Kimberly Jenkins

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928

Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928