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Former judge Melissa Powers named Hamilton County's new prosecutor

Melissa Powers, a blonde white woman, smiles at the camera wearing black judges' robes with pearls around her neck

Former judge and prosecutor Melissa Powers will replace her former boss and mentor, Joe Deters, as Hamilton County prosecutor.

Powers, who did not run for re-election to the juvenile court bench last year, was the overwhelming choice of the Hamilton County Republican Party's central committee, which met late Thursday afternoon at Clovernook Country Club in North College Hill to select Deters' replacement following his appointment to the Ohio Supreme Court.

Before becoming a judge, Powers was an assistant prosecutor in Deters' office. When Deters was named to fill a vacant seat on the court, he made it clear that Powers was his personal choice to replace him.

Powers will have to run for the office in 2024 in an increasingly Democratic county. The prosecutor's office is one of the last high-profile county offices still held by a Republican.

Former Cincinnati mayor John Cranley, a Democrat, told WVXU in late December that he is seriously considering running for county prosecutor in 2024,

Prior to serving as juvenile court judge, Powers was a judge of the Hamilton County Municipal Court, where she established the first Veterans' Court.

Common Pleas Court judge Robert Goehring, a former county treasurer, applied for the appointment after Deters left office, but he withdrew his candidacy well before Thursday's central committee meeting.

Howard Wilkinson joined the WVXU News Team after 30 years of covering local and state politics for The Cincinnati Enquirer. A native of Dayton, Ohio, Wilkinson has covered every Ohio governor’s race since 1974 as well as 12 presidential nominating conventions. His streak continued by covering both the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions for 91.7 WVXU. Along with politics, Wilkinson also covered the 2001 Cincinnati race riots; the Lucasville Prison riot in 1993; the Air Canada plane crash at the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport in 1983; and the 1997 Ohio River flooding. The Cincinnati Reds are his passion. "I've been listening to WVXU and public radio for many years, and I couldn't be more pleased at the opportunity to be part of it,” he says.