In his decision to recommend U.S. Magistrate Benita Pearson as the federal court judge for Youngstown, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown said her background and experience with the federal court stood out.

Brown recommended Judge Pearson on Tuesday over two other finalists: Judge Gene Donofrio of the Youngstown-based Ohio 7th District Court of Appeals, and Geoffrey Mearns, dean of Cleveland-Marshall College of Law.

“This was a difficult decision because I had to choose from three really smart people,” Brown told The Vindicator on Tuesday, shortly after telephone conversations with the candidates.

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