Editor, The Messenger,

I am submitting a personal endorsement for Zach Saunders to serve as judge for the Athens Common Pleas court, Juvenile/Probate division.

I met Mr. Saunders at the beginning of the year as we both stepped into the campaign offices of the Athens Dems. It has been a trying and unusual year for campaigning and through it all Zach has given his time, reaching out to voters, staying engaged and listening to people in our community. Over these months I have witnessed his strong work ethic and a true passion for the job he seeks.

Zach Saunders will be an unwavering advocate to protect both our youth and our elderly from abuse. I have heard him speak from the heart about his goals to create a system that works with youth to prevent recidivism, to lift kids up, and to help those that are most vulnerable. His vision includes work in both the court and in our schools.

For many years Athens County has been blessed with a brilliant judge, Bob Stewart whose shoes will be hard to fill. Zach practiced before Bob in both private practice and as a prosecutor. Appreciative of Judge Stewart’s commitment and kindness, he learned and worked beside him to protect children in some of the toughest cases in our county. I see Zach as an excellent person to carry on Bob’s important work, always putting the wellbeing of children first.

Through candidate forums and Zoom meetings I learned that long before seeking this position Mr. Saunders donated time to youth organizations. He coaches basketball and baseball, works with the Ohio University Summer Law & Trial Institute, a two week program for Appalachian children, and also helps at OU with Mock Trials. In private practice he donated his services to the Poverty Law Clinic, providing pro bono advice to individuals who couldn’t afford an attorney. In these strange times when it’s hard to see even long time friends, I am grateful to have made a new one in Zach. We both love this county and have been working hard, campaigning and reaching out to help others make informed choices in this election. I will be voting for Zach Saunders for Judge and hope you will too. With Zach in our court, Athen’s County youth and elderly will be well served.

Ann Moneypenny

Athens

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