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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 is in his 50th year of covering politics on the local, state and national levels.