COLUMBUS (AP) -- Two Ohio Supreme Court veterans and one newcomer who is also the court's lone Democrat are up for election in November.
The races for the most part have been quiet affairs, far from the vicious campaigns of a decade ago when business interests sought to change the political makeup of the court.
Republicans now control the court 6-1.
The court rules on issues that affect many aspects of daily life in Ohio, such as the way criminal laws are enforced, schools are funded, damages from lawsuits awarded and custody issues worked out.
In one race, Justice Terrence O'Donnell of Cleveland, a Republican who joined the court in 2003, faces suburban Cleveland Democrat and state Sen. Mike Skindell.
In a second, Justice Robert Cupp of Lima, a Republican first elected to the court in 2006, faces Democrat William O'Neill, a retired appeals court judge who now works as a registered nurse in Cleveland.
Justice Yvette Magee Brown of Columbus, a Democrat appointed in 2010 to fill a vacancy left when Maureen O'Connor became chief justice, faces Republican Sharon Kennedy, a Butler County domestic relations judge.
The winner of the Brown-Kennedy race would need to run again in two years for a full six-year term.
The only substantive issue in this year's race comes from criticism O'Neill has made of O'Donnell and Cupp over the potential influence of campaign contributions on their decisions. He has questioned a combined $44,000 in contributions tied to Akron-based FirstEnergy this year that both have received during a time the utility had cases pending at the court.
"It's impossible to avoid the appearance of impropriety when you accept money from a litigant and then rule on their case," O'Neill said at a candidates' forum in Columbus this month. He stopped short of accusing either justice of wrongdoing.
O'Donnell said O'Neill failed to mention that a three-judge panel rejected a grievance O'Neill filed over the issue.
Cupp defended the need for contributions, while noting that justices themselves are banned from directly seeking campaign contributions. Instead, a separate campaign committee solicits donations.
"I've not found any TV or radio outlets or newspapers in this state who are willing to run advertisements for candidates without charging them," Cupp said at the forum.
The Ohio State Bar Association rated Brown and Cupp "highly recommended," rated O'Donnell, O'Neill and Skindell as "recommended," and rated Kennedy "not recommended."
Asked for a comment, Kennedy said in a statement: "My 27 years of service from police officer to solo practitioner to 14 years on the trial court bench has resonated with Ohio voters."