VOTER GUIDE: Montgomery County Common Pleas Court Judge Democratic candidates

The Dayton Daily News, Springfield News-Sun and Journal-News invited local candidates to fill out the following questionnaire to inform readers.


Jacqueline Gaines

City: Oakwood

Education: Maurer School of Law, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (J.D., 2004); Order of Barristers; Sherman Minton Moot Court, chief justice and finalist; DePauw University, Greencastle, Indiana (B.A. in political science, 2001)

Employment: 2011-present, magistrate and mediator, Montgomery County Domestic Relations Court; 2004-2010, private practice, litigation attorney representing clients in business, employment, workers compensation and criminal matters

Community involvement: University of Dayton School of Law, adjunct professor and mentor (2018-present); Central State University, adjunct professor (2010-2012); Ohio Association of Magistrates; Ohio Black Judges Association; Thurgood Marshall Law Society; Dayton Bar Association, Board of Trustees, secretary (2009-2011); Montgomery County Public Defender Commission (2008-2012); Advocates for Basic Legal Equality and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Board of Trustees (2008-2011)

Why are you seeking elected office? I am running because the citizens of Montgomery County deserve to have a judge who is knowledgeable and fair, and who treats each person who appears in court with dignity and respect.

Why should voters elect you? I am experienced, fair and tough. For 11 years I have served as a magistrate, where on a daily basis I rule on evidentiary issues and write timely decisions that everyday people can understand. If elected, I carry these same principles to the judicial office.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? Procedural fairness, due process, and judicial transparency.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? When elected, I plan to utilize all the tool in the judicial toolbox to ensure that each case is treated individually. For example, I am open to using drug treatment, diversion, speciality court docket when appropriate. In addition, I will work to ensure that all citizens regardless of racial or ethnic background or socioeconomic status have the same access to rehabilitation and treatment options.

Anything else you would like voters to know? Experience is on the ballot. Vote for Gaines on May 3. Learn more at and follow me on Twitter and Facebook.

Angelina Jackson

City: Trotwood

Education: B.A. English, Florida A&M University; Juris Doctor, University of Cincinnati College of Law

Employment: I have been practicing law for 17 years. I am currently employed as an assistant Montgomery County public defender, where I represent indigent clients in the municipal, common pleas and appellate courts of Montgomery County. Previously, I practiced in the civil litigation division of the law firm of Dinsmore & Shohl. Additionally, I served as director of the Race & Justice Project at the Ohio Justice & Policy Center, where I litigated civil rights cases and criminal appeals and advocated for criminal justice reform. I was also employed at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, where I served as director of public service & externships and adjunct professor.

Community involvement: Most recently, I volunteered as a member of the city of Dayton’s police reform working groups, where I worked with community members and police officers to review the department’s use of force policies and practices. During this process, I researched and drafted recommendations to adopt use of force policies that are designed to minimize use of force and keep citizens and officers safer. Following this work, I was appointed by the Dayton City Commission to serve on the Use of Force Committee, which will conduct ongoing review of force data and policies. I have previously served as a volunteer attorney with the Greater Dayton Volunteer Lawyers Project, where I represented victims of domestic violence in divorce proceedings free of charge. I am a member of the Dayton Bar Association, where I have served as a member of the board of trustees, a co-chair of the diversity committee, and an author of articles for Dayton Bar Briefs Magazine.

Why are you seeking elected office? I am running for judge because I care about the people of Montgomery County and because I believe in the fair and equitable administration of justice. I believe that public defenders and civil rights attorneys have important and valuable professional experience that is largely absent from the current bench. I also believe that in order for people to have trust and confidence in the system, the bench must be truly representative of everyone it serves. My personal and professional background would bring much-needed diversity to the bench.

Why should voters elect you? I am running because judges play a critical role in the fair and equitable administration of justice. I have dedicated my career to upholding the constitutional rights of the most vulnerable members of our community, and I have witnessed firsthand the disparities that impact poor people and people of color. As a judge, I will be committed to accurately interpreting and applying the law, while remaining cognizant of the fact that racial, ethnic and socio-economic disparities do exist in our current system. I will not be afraid to confront and consider this reality, and I will commit to treating everyone who appears before the court with the dignity and respect they are entitled to as a human being.

If elected, what will be your top three priorities? We can reduce recidivism and keep our community safer by utilizing interventions that address structural barriers and the root causes of criminal behavior. If I am elected, my top three priorities would be to support: 1. the use of evidence-based therapeutic alternatives to incarceration, where legally appropriate; 2. increased efficiency and access to the court for all parties via remote technology, where appropriate; and 3. respect for the constitutional rights of victims.

What specific plans do you have to address those top priorities? I would address my priorities by: 1. supporting and advocating for the expansion of specialized dockets to address addiction, mental illness, and the special needs of women, young men of color, and veterans; 2. maximizing the use of available technology and looking for opportunities to incorporate new, cutting edge technology into court proceedings; and 3. monitoring the court’s proceedings to ensure compliance with Ohio’s Crime Victims Rights Law.

Anything else you would like voters to know? I am a Dayton native, a graduate of Dayton Public Schools, an HBCU graduate, and a mother of two school-aged daughters. I am a hard-working, open-minded and compassionate person, and I believe I would be a good judge. I encourage voters to check out my website at and to reach out to me on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with any questions they may have!

Tony Schoen

No response