NEW LEADERSHIP DELIVERING RESULTS FOR OUR COMMUNITY
On January 31, 2022, local attorney William Todd Drown filed his petition to run as a Republican in the May 3, 2022 primary for Judge of the General Division of the Coshocton County Court of Common Pleas. Drown previously ran on the Democratic ticket for Common Pleas Judge in 2010 and was narrowly defeated by the current judge by slightly more than 1% difference in the vote.
My role model is Ohio Supreme Court Justice Michael Donnelly who has said, “One of the biggest threats to public confidence in the criminal justice system [stems] from off-the-record sentencing representations, whether from a judge in chambers or a defense attorney’s informed speculation.” As a means for transparency, the justice recommends that all discussions take place in open court. He believes a documented dialogue would ensure negotiations are fair between the prosecution and defense, which would include stating the rationale for the agreement... (quoting from an article from the Cincinnati Inquirer). Judge Batchelor is on the record as saying he is absolutely opposed to the kind of plea bargain reform advocated by Donnelly (Batchelor debate in front of Franklin Township Trustees, February 28, 2022).
My roots are deeply conservative and a born-again Christian. My paternal grandfather was a migrant worker who picked apples in the orchards of Wayne County and then a beef cattle farmer and he was a decorated and wounded combat veteran in World War II. My maternal grandfather was a dairy cattle farmer and school bus driver. My maternal grandmother was a distinguished businesswoman who did tons of charity work and had a Native American spiritual dirge chanted at her Baptist funeral by the Chief of the Gitche Gumee Indian Tribe for her work among tribal woman. My father was the youngest Ohio State Highway Patrol Lieutenant in the State of Ohio and was the first to go through the wall when they had the Ohio Penitentiary riots in 1968. My dad laid down law and order in our family and my grandfathers showed me the importance of hard work and pulling yourself up without help and my grandmothers instilled in me a solid belief in women’s rights and equality.
I was a campaign aide to former speaker of the United States House of Representatives, John Boehner, and was President of the Ohio College Republicans, when I attended Miami University. While at Miami University, I met and interacted with William F. Buckley and William Bennett, two of President Reagan’s closest advisors. I am most proud of being the campaign manager for Republican, Sally Southard, who was the first woman ever to be elected as Butler County Commission. It was Speaker John Boehner and Ohio State Republican Chairman Bob Bennett who put me to work at the 1992 Presidential Convention where I had the great honor and privilege to meet and talk with President Ronald Wilson Reagan as he ascended the back stairs to the platform at the 1992 Convention where he gave his farewell speech to the Republican Party and the nation. At the convention in 1992, I remember how thrilling it was to run messages for and between Rush Limbaugh, George Voinovich, Robert Taft, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson, Charlton Heston, President Gerald Ford, Congressman Sonny Bono, Senator Strom Thurmond, and many other Republican stalwarts.
I also served as an Ohio-based White House advance aide for George H.W. Bush and Vice-President Dan Quayle during the 1992 campaign. I drove a support van for the Vice-President and I knew the President personally though he always forgot my name and simply referred to me as the ‘airplane guy'. I did commit a rather serious infraction when I hired a local single engine plane to fly over and dive bomb the Branstool Farm in Utica, Ohio with a banner that said “Licking County is Bush County” while Bill Clinton was at the farm (this was his first stop after being nominated for President in 1992). I forgot about Presidential airspace restrictions and the Secret Service was not too happy but President George and Barbara Bush both told me that they never laughed so hard in their lives when the news media came on and said that Clinton was delayed and couldn’t leave the farm until the plane with the Bush banner was cleared from the airspace and so thereafter they referred to me as the ‘airplane guy'. I admired Bush Senior because he literally put his life on the line in his TBM Avenger VT-51 light bomber. Bush was shot down and his two comrades perished, and he floated for more than four hours in Japanese infested waters in the Pacific before being rescued. What more can you say? He put his life on the line for his country.”
I graduated with honors from Miami University with four majors and then went on to teach undergraduates American and Twentieth Century European History at the University of North Carolina – at Chapel Hill where I earned a Master’s Degree in European History. When I spent a semester in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, I interviewed World War II resistance fighters and Holocaust survivors for my graduate thesis. These were the most heroic people I have ever met in my entire life. They stood and clapped for me and got mad when I stood to clap for them. They explained that they were clapping in gratitude that my grandfather and others like him went to Europe and fought for their liberation without ever knowing any of them. I was moved to tears.
I graduated from law school in 1998, having attended Washington & Lee University School of Law. W&L was a very conservative school with old southern traditions that I admire. To this day, I keep a picture of both Abraham Lincoln and Robert E. Lee on the same level and next each other on the walls of my office and home. You cannot live in Lexington, Virginia for three years without also being moved by the deep religious fervor of Stonewall Thomas Jackson who lived in the town and taught at the Virginia Military Institute.
In 1990, I was tapped to work alongside the Historian of the United States Department of State in Washington, D.C. In 1991, the United States Department of State under President George H.W. Bush sent me to work in the United States Embassy in San Jose, Costa Rica as a political officer on a temporary tour of duty. I worked for Republican Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery in the Capital Crimes Division. It was a gruesome job at times gathering photos and evidence for post-conviction release cases including those involving the brutal deaths of children and I never had a single day where I doubted the importance of what I was doing – that is moving those on Ohio’s death-row ever so closer to justice.
In 2005, I was appointed by the United States Department of Justice under George W. Bush to serve as Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Trustee in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Ohio and reappointed by the United States Department of Justice under President Barak Obama – a position he held for more than 10 years. I have served as prosecutor and court appointed and private defense counsel over the many years of my practice. I have served on the Public Defender Board in Knox County, Ohio and have been solicitor for many Ohio villages and other statutorily created entities. Currently, I serve as Solicitor for the Villages of Nellie and Conesville and serves as the legal counsel for the Coshocton County Board of Realtors.