Tom Letson

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Tom Letson
TLetson.jpg
Ohio House of Representatives, District 64
Former member
In office
2007 - January 1, 2015
PartyDemocratic
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First elected2006
Term limits4 terms (8 years)
Education
Bachelor'sKent State University, 1983
J.D.University of Akron School of Law, 1988
Personal
Date of birthSeptember 29, 1952
Place of birthColumbus, Ohio
ProfessionAttorney
ReligionPresbyterian
CandidateVerification
Court Information:
Ohio Supreme Court
Salary:  $142,000
Candidate 2014:
Candidate for:  Supreme Court
Position:  Term commencing 1/1/15
State:  Ohio
Election information 2014:
Party:   Democratic
Incumbent:  Yes
Primary date:  5/6/2014
Primary vote:  100%ApprovedA
Election date:  11/4/2014
Election vote:  27.5%DefeatedD


Tom Letson (b. September 29, 1952) is a former Democratic member of the Ohio House of Representatives, representing District 64 from 2006 to January 1, 2015.

Letson was ineligible to run for re-election to the House in 2014 because of term limits. He was a 2014 candidate for the Ohio Supreme Court.[1][2] He challenged incumbent Justice Sharon L. Kennedy.

Biography

Letson earned his B.A. in Psychology from Kent State University and his J.D. from the University of Akron School of Law.[3][2] Letson also has over two decades of experience as an attorney. He has served as an assistant city prosecutor in Newton Falls, and was an acting judge on the Warren Municipal Court.[4]

Committee assignments

2013-2014

At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Letson served on the following committees:

Ohio Committee Assignments, 2013
Judiciary
Manufacturing and Workforce Development
Ways and Means

2011-2012

In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Letson served on the following committees:

2009-2010

In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Letson served on the following committees:

Elections

2014 judicial

See also: Ohio Supreme Court elections, 2014
See also: Ohio judicial elections, 2014
Letson ran for election to the Ohio Supreme Court.
General: He was defeated in the general election on November 4, 2014, after receiving 27.5 percent of the vote. He competed against incumbent Judge Sharon L. Kennedy.[1][5]
Supreme-Court-Elections-badge.png

Endorsements

  • Ohio Democratic Party State Executive Committee[6]
  • Cuyahoga County Democratic Party[7]
  • Butler County Democrats[8]
  • Wood County Democratic Party[9]
  • Hamilton County Democratic Party[10]

Campaign contributions

Candidate Total contributions
Sharon L. Kennedy $931,944.34[11]
Tom Letson$25,639.00[12]

Ohio State Bar Association rating

Letson was rated "Not recommended" by the Ohio State Bar Association's Commission on Judicial Candidates. The commission based the ratings off of each candidate's legal knowledge and ability; professional competence; judicial temperament; integrity; diligence; personal responsibility; and public/community service.[13] Letson's opponent, Sharon Kennedy, declined to participate in the OSBA's rating process in 2014. She was given a rating of "Not recommended" in 2012.[14] Letson said he would be "happy to sit down with my colleagues at the bar and discuss my qualifications."[15]

2012

See also: Ohio House of Representatives elections, 2012

Letson won re-election in the 2012 election for Ohio House District 64. Letson defeated Sheila Calko and David C. Cook in the March 6 Democratic primary election and defeated Randy Law (R) in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.[16][17][18]

Ohio House of Representatives, District 64, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngTom Letson Incumbent 60.2% 28,030
     Republican Randy Law 39.8% 18,496
Total Votes 46,526

2010

See also: Ohio House of Representatives elections, 2010

Letson won re-election to District 64 of the Ohio House of Representatives.[19] His opponents were Albert Haberstroh Jr. (R) and Randy Law (I). The election took place on November 2, 2010.[20][21]

Ohio House of Representatives, District 64
Candidates Votes Percent
Green check mark transparent.png Tom Letson (D) 18,767 62.57%
Albert Haberstroh Jr. (R) 11,225 37.43%

2008

See also: Ohio House of Representatives elections, 2008

On November 4, 2008, Letson won re-election to the Ohio House of Representatives. Letson defeated Thomas Montgomery in the general election.[22][23][24]

Ohio House of Representatives, District 64
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Tom Letson (D) 31,783
Thomas Montgomery (R) 15,290

2006

See also: Ohio House of Representatives elections, 2006

On November 7, 2006, Letson won election to the Ohio House of Representatives.[25] His opponent was Randy Law (R).

Ohio House of Representatives, District 64
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Tom Letson (D) 20,316
Randy Law (R) 16,953

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Letson is available dating back to 2006. Based on available campaign finance records, Letson raised a total of $588,883 during that time period. This information was last updated on June 4, 2013.[26]

Tom Letson's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Ohio State House, District 64 Won $67,769
2010 Ohio State House, District 64 Won $221,671
2008 Ohio State House, District 64 Won $98,495
2006 Ohio State House, District 64 Won $200,948
Grand Total Raised $588,883

2012

Letson won re-election to the Ohio State House in 2012. During that election cycle, Letson raised a total of $67,769.

2010

Letson won re-election to the Ohio State House in 2010. During that election cycle, Letson raised a total of $221,671.

2008

Letson won re-election to the Ohio State House in 2008. During that election cycle, Letson raised a total of $98,495.

2006

Letson won election to the Ohio State House in 2006. During that election cycle, Letson raised a total of $200,948.

Scorecards

See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in Ohio

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of Ohio scorecards, email suggestions to scorecards@ballotpedia.org.

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.

2013-2014

In 2013, the 130th Ohio General Assembly was in session from January 7 to December 31. In 2014, the 130th Ohio General Assembly will be in session from January 7 through December 31.

  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on women’s issues.

2011-2012

In 2011, the 129th Ohio General Assembly was in session from January 3 through December 31.[27] In 2012, the 129th Ohio General Assembly was in session from January 3 through December 31.

  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on women’s issues.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on middle class.
  • Innovation Ohio: 129th General Assembly - Votes on legislation supported by Governor Kasich
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bill's introduced at Governor Kasich’s urging or that had his vocal support.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Legislators are scored on their votes on key conservative issues.
  • Senators are scored based on how they voted on issues of priority to members of the Ohio Federation of Teachers.
  • Representatives are scored based on how they voted on issues of priority to members of the Ohio Federation of Teachers.
  • Legislators are scored based on their votes on bills impacting Ohio's business community.

Personal

Letson and his wife have one child. They currently reside in Warren, Ohio.[3]

Awards and associations

Associations

  • Chair, Trumbull County Bar Association, Board of Continuing Legal Education
  • President, Trumbull County Bar Association
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association Council of Delegates
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Past board member, Warren City Board of Health
  • Past workers' compensation representative, United Steelworkers[28]

Judicial philosophy

As stated on his campaign website:

My experiences have taught me that in order to improve the systems that serve our communities, we need to facilitate meaningful dialogue about the way our courts operate. Too often, we avoid having these discussions because they are hard or inconvenient, and that needs to change. It is not enough to simply discuss the importance of integrity and fairness—we must act in accordance with these ideals as well.[29]

Notable cases

Zoning issue for "sober house"

Letson was cited for a misdemeanor zoning violation in August 2013 for renting his old family home to two men who are running a "sober house" for recovering alcoholics and drug addicts. Since it is in a residential zone, a halfway house or boarding house would not be allowed there, and neighbors have complained about the house's use. Letson, however, argued that there was nothing illegal about the house, and who lived there. He used the city's building code policy to back himself up, which he said describes a family as "consist[ing] of two or more persons, whether or not related by blood, marriage or adoption. It also says in that same section that the family can include domestic servants and gratuitous guests." Letson said that the actions the city is taking are discriminatory, and are in violation of the Fair Housing Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case will be in court sometime in September.[30][31]

People in recovery aren't scary and they aren't breaking any laws. In this particular instance no laws were broken.[32][29]

—Tom Letson

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See also

External links

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References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Secretary of State, "Statewide Candidates for the May 6, 2014 Primary Election," February 18, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Ballotpedia.org, "Tom Letson Profile", accessed April 29, 2014
  3. 3.0 3.1 Project Vote Smart, "Tom Letson's Biography," accessed June 12, 2014
  4. Tom Letson for Ohio Supreme Court, "Meet Tom," archived August 28, 2014
  5. ‘’Ohio Secretary of State’’, “Ohio Decides 2014,” accessed November 4, 2014
  6. Erie County Democratic Party, "2014 Statewide Candidates endorsed by ODP State Executive Committee," accessed August 20, 2014
  7. Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, "Endorsements," accessed August 20, 2014
  8. Butler County Democrats, "Endorsed candidates for 2014," accessed August 20, 2014
  9. Wood County Democratic Party, "Endorsed Candidates for 2014," accessed August 20, 2014
  10. Hamilton County Democratic Party, "2014 Endorsed State Democratic Candidates," accessed August 20, 2014
  11. Ohio Secretary of State, "Kennedy for Ohio contribution history," accessed December 17, 2014
  12. Ohio Secretary of State, "Vote Tom Letson contribution history," accessed December 17, 2014
  13. Ohio State Bar Association, "OSBA announces Supreme Court of Ohio candidate ratings for the 2014 Election," June 16, 2014 (dead link)
  14. Cinncinnati.com, "Justice Kennedy won't answer to the bar," June 23, 2014
  15. Vindy.com, "The state bar association doesn’t recommend Tom Letson of Warren for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court," June 17, 2014
  16. Ohio Chamber of Commerce, "2012 General Assembly Primary Candidates," January 17, 2012
  17. Ohio Secretary of State, "2012 Democratic Primary Results," accessed June 12, 2014
  18. Ohio Secretary of State, "Ohio official results for 2012 General Election," accessed June 10, 2014
  19. Ohio Secretary of State, "State Representative: Results for general election on November 2, 2010," accessed June 11, 2014
  20. Ohio Secretary of State, "Democratic State Representative: Results for Primary: May 4, 2010," accessed June 11, 2014
  21. Ohio Secretary of State, "Republican State Representative: Results for Primary: May 4, 2010," accessed June 11, 2014
  22. Ohio Secretary of State, "Republican State Representative: Results for Primary: March 4, 2008," accessed June 11, 2014
  23. Ohio Secretary of State, "Democratic State Representative: Results for Primary: March 4, 2008," accessed June 11, 2014
  24. Ohio Secretary of State, "State Representative: Results for general election on November 4, 2008," accessed June 11, 2014
  25. Ohio Secretary of State, "State Representative: Results for general election on November 7, 2006," accessed June 11, 2014
  26. followthemoney.org, "Letson, Tom," accessed June 4, 2013
  27. National Conference of State Legislatures, "2011 Legislative Sessions Calendar," accessed June 6, 2014(Archived)
  28. Tom Letson for Ohio Supreme Court, "Experience," accessed August 20, 2014
  29. 29.0 29.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  30. Trib Today, "Case of Letson’s ‘sober house’ delayed until September," June 21, 2014
  31. WKBM.com, "Letson charged with violation," August 27, 2013
  32. WFMJ.com, "EXCLUSIVE: Tom Letson breaks his silence on zoning violation controversy," December 28, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
'
Ohio House of Representatives - District 64
2007–January 1, 2015
Succeeded by
Michael O’Brien (D)