Jennifer L. Brunner
Jennifer Brunner served as a twice-elected state trial court Judge of the Common Pleas Court of Franklin County (Columbus, Ohio) from 2000 – 2005. She was elected Secretary of State of Ohio in 2006, serving from 2007 – 2011. She is the founding partner of Brunner Quinn law firm, having launched it as a sole practitioner in 1988 as the state’s first law practice focused on election law. Jennifer Brunner managed the firm while caring for three small children, while Rick Brunner, her husband and fellow attorney, handled complex, multi-state litigation for another law firm. After four years, he joined her, and the firm became Brunner & Brunner. Over the years, the firm has grown to encompass a strong litigation and business practice, along with consumer, government, election and campaign finance law practices, criminal appeals, expungements and actions for persons wrongfully convicted.
Brunner has been engaged from 2012 to 2014 as a USAID-funded technical expert on rule of law in the Republic of Serbia, where she assisted the Serbian government on matters of anti-corruption and judicial reform. She served as an international election observer in the Arab Republic of Egypt during the country’s constitutional referendum and presidential elections in 2014.
Jennifer Brunner completed her undergraduate degree in Sociology with emphasis in Gerontology, cum laude, at Miami University in 1978, graduating after three years and a summer. She earned a J.D. from Capital University Law School with honors, having her first child during law school while working full and part time. Jennifer Brunner is admitted to practice in the State of Ohio and in the U.S. District Courts of the Northern and Southern Districts of Ohio, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.
During her years in private practice (from 1987-2000, 2005-2007 and 2011 to the present), Jennifer served as general counsel to a computer firm and several Ohio trade associations. She represented clients before the Ohio legislature and state agencies and served as campaign finance counsel for numerous state and local labor unions, corporations, national and state associations, candidates, and political action committees on state and federal election law. Her experience includes representation of developers and neighborhood groups on zoning, referendum and initiative issues. She previously served as the administrative partner of the firm.
While sitting as a trial court judge, Jennifer Brunner presided over civil and criminal felony trials, including death penalty cases. She founded the county’s adult felony drug court, known as the TIES (Treatment is Essential to Success) Program, and permitted jurors to take notes and ask questions, a practice affirmed by the Ohio Supreme Court and adopted in state court rules.
As an attorney, Jennifer Brunner holds litigation and administrative law experience in matters of state and local public contract issues, corporate and contract matters, ethics and election law, liquor and local option law and zoning law. Her experience includes representing clients before federal, state and local agencies, boards and commissions and trial and appellate litigation practice in numerous counties in Ohio, in the Northern and Southern U.S. District Courts of Ohio and in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. She is a member of the American, Ohio State, and Columbus Bar Associations and has achieved Fellow status in each of these three professional organizations.
Brunner holds public sector experience in all three branches of government in Ohio and Franklin County. In addition to her judicial experience, she served on the staff of the Ohio Senate in the late 1970′s, as an attorney in the Ohio Secretary of State’s office from 1983-1987 and as a member of the Franklin County Board of Elections in the 1990′s. She is the first woman to be elected Secretary of State in Ohio and the fifth woman elected to statewide executive office in her own right in the history of the state. In 2008 she was awarded the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award by the bipartisan John F. Kennedy Library Foundation, the nation’s most prestigious award for elected public servants, for her work as Ohio’s 52nd Secretary of State.
Jennifer Brunner values public service and civic involvement. She currently serves public appointments on the boards of the Central Ohio Transit Authority and the Counselor, Social Worker, Marriage and Family Therapist Board. She has been appointed to government positions by both Democrats and Republicans. In the private sector Brunner serves on the Legacy Fund of the Columbus Foundation, Progress Ohio Education (501c(3)) and the Center for Community Solutions in Cleveland, Ohio. Jennifer Brunner is running for the Tenth District Court of Appeals in order to serve her community as a judge; she understands the unique role of the tenth district among the state’s appellate courts because of its oversight of state government actions, located in Columbus, the state’s capital. Brunner’s qualifications offer Franklin County and the State of Ohio exceptional, integrated judicial and state government experience.
Jennifer Brunner is the mother of three grown children and a grandmother. She resides in Columbus, Ohio with her husband of 36 years, Rick Brunner, along with two rescue dogs and a cat. She grew up in Columbus, attending and graduating with honors from Columbus Public Schools.