Candidate Profile: William Vodrey

Each election year, Cleveland Neighborhood News invites some of the more outstanding local candidates to submit a short biography. This is the first in our 2020 series:

William Vodrey is a Democratic candidate for judge of the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas. He has an impressive record of public service as a magistrate of Cleveland Municipal Court (2001-present), as an assistant Cuyahoga County prosecuting attorney appointed by the late Stephanie Tubbs Jones (1995-2001), and as a Legal Aid lawyer (1993-1995). He would now like to take his experience, his skills and his passionate commitment to justice to a higher court, to be of service to the entire county.

Vodrey said, “If I had the honor of being elected, I’d like to build on the reforms already underway in the Court of Common Pleas, including expanding bail reform and fixing the problems with the County Jail. I would do all in my power to reduce racial and socioeconomic disparities in the criminal justice system. I’d like to strengthen the specialized dockets of the court such as Drug Court, the Veterans Docket and the Mental Health Docket, which often lead to better results for defendants and the community than if such cases are assigned to the general docket.”

Most judges go their entire careers without ever having a decision reported as official Ohio precedent; Vodrey has had 21. He has extensive criminal and civil experience, and is the only non-incumbent candidate for judge in the county this year with experience presiding over jury trials.

Magistrate Vodrey said, “I’m honored to have been endorsed by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Congresswoman Marcia Fudge, former County Executive Edward FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party, G-PAC, FIINPAC, Cleveland Stonewall Democrats, and eight labor unions including the North Shore AFL-CIO, as well as many other elected officials, community leaders and ordinary citizens.” He received three Excellent and two Good ratings from Judge4Yourself.

William Vodrey is an honors graduate of Oberlin College, where he teaches a course in legal advocacy every fall. He was, in 2018, awarded the Alumni Medal for “outstanding, sustained, or unique service to Oberlin College.” He graduated from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. In 2002, he received the Distinguished Recent Graduate Award and, last year, the Mentor of the Year Award.

Magistrate Vodrey and his wife Susan celebrated their 30th anniversary in August. They live in Cleveland with their three sons, John, Ethan and Thomas.

The general election is on Nov. 3, 2020, with early in-person voting and vote-by-mail beginning Oct. 6.

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