The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio Inc. has endorsed the candidacy of Delaware County Common Pleas Judge David Gormley in his race for a judgeship in the Canton-based Fifth District Court of Appeals.

Gormley reports that he received a letter on Aug. 16, informing him of the FOP’s endorsement in his upcoming election to take the seat of administrative Judge Sheila G. Farmer, who will reach Ohio’s mandatory retirement age when her term ends in January 2017.

“I’m delighted and honored to receive the support of law-enforcement officers from throughout the 15 counties of Ohio’s Fifth Appellate District,” Gormley said. “I’ve worked closely with police officers, sheriff’s deputies, state troopers and other law-enforcement officers here in Delaware County for many years, as both a prosecutor and now as a judge.”

Gormley worked as an assistant prosecutor from 1993 to 1997 when he moved to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and worked as an attorney until 2003. In 2004, Gormley became the director of legal resources at the Ohio Supreme Court.

Gormley became a judge in 2008 when he was elected to serve as a judge in Delaware Municipal Court. He left that position in 2015 after he was elected as a Delaware County Common Pleas Court judge where he currently presides over felony and civil cases.

“Having the backing of law-enforcement officers who put their lives on the line every day to protect and serve all of us will be tremendously helpful to me as I continue to talk with voters about why I believe I’m the right candidate to serve on our court of appeals for the next six years,” Gormley said.

Mark Drum, secretary for the Ohio FOP, said he could not remember the last time the FOP endorsed a candidate in a district court of appeals race.

“The reason we endorsed [Gormley] is because of his long standing record of being a law-and-order judge,” Drum said. Drum explained that he has spoken to many officers who have taken part in cases presided over by Gormley and all of the officers consider Gormley to be an “extremely fair and conscientious judge.”

Gormley, a Republican, will be on the ballot in the district’s 15 counties this fall for the soon-to-be vacant appeals judge seat and is opposed by Democratic candidate Earle E. Wise Jr., an attorney in Canton. Ballotpedia reports that Wise served as an assistant prosecutor for the Stark County Prosecutor’s Office from 1997 to 2005. He also worked in city administration for the city of North Canton from 2005 to 2011 and now runs a private practice.

The term for the judgeship is six years.

The 15 counties in the district are Ashland, Coshocton, Delaware, Fairfield, Guernsey, Holmes, Knox, Licking, Morgan, Morrow, Muskingum, Perry, Richland, Stark and Tuscarawas.

Gormley Courtesy photo

By Glenn Battishill

[email protected]

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.