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3 generations. What I will look like, what I used to look like and what I look like now :)  

  1. Introduction.

    My name is John Rutan and I am running for Franklin County Prosecutor. To give you a better idea of my character and life experiences I am providing the following cliff notes of my life. I am a 44 years old and a son to two parents that have been married 48 years ages 76 and 80.  I am a brother to 4 sisters with me being number 4 out of 5. I have one child who is my mini me and my favorite part of life. Not having a child until the age of 39 has made me cherish all the moments that much more. I now believe AC/BC means, “After Child and Before Child” because after my son was born my outlook and perspective in life changed drastically. I realize all people are born good and having faith and family is important. Takes a village to raise a child.

  2. Born in WI, Moved to NH until Highschool and Moved to Ohio in 1996.

    I was born in Wisconsin but only lived there one year so I don’t really claim I am from there because I do not remember it. I moved to New Hampshire around the age of 2 and stayed there until my Junior year in Highschool. In 1996, I moved to Westerville Ohio where my parents owned a home. My father is a salesman so although my father and mother grew up in Ohio, they moved away when I was younger for work purposes. Once one of my older sisters got accepted to Ohio State University, we moved back to Westerville Ohio. I graduated from Westerville South in 1998 and went to College at Wright State University (WSU) in Fairborn Ohio where I graduated in 2002. I graduated in 4 years and had my goals set for law school.

  3. Shoot for the Stars and If you Hit the Moon, Its Still A Good Shot.

    Growing up, my parents always told me I could be anything I wanted. My Dad would tell me to Shoot for the stars and if you miss and hit the moon, its still a good shot”. I had a great mother and loved her a lot. She was a nurse and very well educated. The driving force in my family for education. She got her masters when she was in her 60’s. Still loves learning to this day. As a child, my dreams were to work with my mother as a Doctor, President or Pilot. I ended up not being able to handle blood so my dream of working with my mother and being a doctor ended real quick. I figured I could fly as a hobby, so lets try to become President. I decided the Star would be the presidency and the Moon would be a lawyer. At the age of 17, I called a lawyer in Columbus and asked to shadow him. It was a great experience and a path I knew I wanted to pursue. I figured it would help me learn how politics worked, how laws were created, and it would give me a tool to help people. It has without a doubt become a soul enriching experience for me in gaining empathy and understanding for people. Every story is different.

  4. Law School Delay.

    With my goal set on becoming a lawyer, I went to college and studied political science and urban affairs at Wright State University in Fairborn Ohio. Urban affairs was a great subject to learn how to bring up impoverished areas and political science for my further aspirations. My senior year of college I was applying to law schools. 

    Unfortunately, my senior year, I got in a fight and charged with assault. My little sister went with me to college and some guy called her some unflattering words that made her cry in front of me. At the time, I overreacted as a brother and the conviction was justified.  

  5. My Watershed Moment in Life.

    When I was released from jail as a result of the assault at the age of 22, that was the first time in my life I tasted fresh air. That experienced showed me I could not sleep 3 days straight and gave me empathy and understanding of what jail is like. It was also a watershed moment in my life. When I first saw my parents, I remember my Dad saying to me “we love you, don’t’ worry son, you can still make a good living in sales”. My mom without missing a beat said “No way, if you want to be a lawyer, you will, you will just have to work harder than most”. 

  6. Upon my early release from jail (8 days instead of 6 months), I was put on probation. I remember the guards telling me, we will see you again, over 85% violate probation. I was like ya right, I don’t care what my restrictions are, I just want my bed, fresh air and a fan. I got 3 years of probation but was successfully terminated 7 months later. This is why I know violating probation is inexcusable and repeat offenders need to be punished. “Forgiveness is a great trait to have, but only those who are apologetic and show contrition deserve it”. If you keep making the same mistake, then clearly there is no contrition.

  7. My Move to Florida-Paralegal Certificate.

    Due to the conviction, my plans for law school were delayed. I moved back to Westerville and lived with my parents for a year. I felt the best course was to enroll in paralegal school instead of trying odd jobs. Within a year, I graduated from the Academy of Court Reporting in Columbus with a paralegal certificate. Giving me more of a foundation to become a lawyer and make me more appealing to legal employers. I wanted to work in the field until I got into law school. Over the year I lived with my parents, I waited tables at Carrabba’s in Polaris. I saved money, earned a paralegal certificate and decided to move to Florida. I wanted to live by a beach and experience the Ocean. I chose Florida because it was closer to my family in Ohio, not realizing I was destine for California in 3 years for law school.

  8. My Breakthrough Job-God Send.

    Prior to leaving Ohio, I set up 10 interviews on the East Coast and 10 on the West Coast. I had temp agencies and potential firms. I had plans to transfer to the Carrabbas restaurant in Florida to help me survive. I also had a friend from college on the East Coast and a grandfather on the West coast if I needed a place to stay. During the first day of the interviews, I had about an hour break. I had a resume packet for potential employers. I walked into a law office without an interview.  I introduced myself and told the paralegal for the other lawyer in the office, I just moved here from Ohio, wanted to be a lawyer but would love an opportunity to work as a paralegal or project assistant.

    One of my guardian angles Carla told me, the other attorney Roberto, just fired his paralegal actually, come back for an interview in 2 hours. I met Roberto Stanziale and loved him at first sight. He was a mirror of who I wanted to be. He did general practice and helped out all areas of law. He wanted a thinker and to mold me into an attorney. He showed me you can focus on more than one area. He ended up hiring me on the spot. Although it was the lowest offer, I felt it was the best fit because he was going to train me to be a lawyer without a license. I took the job. I worked full time for him and also at Carrabbas to make ends meet. After 6 months, I got enough pay raises I was able to quit my job waiting tables and focus on just the legal field. It was the best job I ever had absent working for myself. I answered calls, prepared contracts, met with clients, prepared all letters, pleadings, assisted in trials, did legal research, wrote motions and briefs, and attended court with him to watch the fruits of my labor. To this day, he still is my mentor and the best attorney I have ever met. He was the reason I was able to hit the ground running as a lawyer once I got my license to practice in Ohio.

  9. How I Got Into Law School.

    During the 3 years I worked for Mr. Stanziale, I applied to 10 law schools every year all over the States. Anywhere I thought they would give me a chance. I knew I just needed the license, and I would figure the rest out later. I didn’t care if I had to go to Michigan 😊 I literally got rejected by over 30 law schools. But I was raised, to never give up. If you really want to do something, you will, you will just have to work harder. Finally, a kind soul from the University of La Verne called me up. We talked about my history and efforts. She loved my efforts and advised me to withdraw my application and reapply for part time in the winter when it would be easier to get in. I did that and was accepted. Four years after college I finally got my chance. During those 4 years I got a paralegal certificate and gained invaluable hands on experience as a paralegal running a law firm.  Law school was going to be easier for me due to my legal experience.

  10. Time In Law School.

    After I enrolled in the University of La Verne, I moved to Ontario Californian in 2007.  After one semester of proving myself (being at the top of the class), I transferred full time. Throughout my 3-year career I worked the whole time. Every year I would work for a different firm to gain different experiences. From probate to family law to criminal law. For the first time in my life, I excelled in school and was in the top 5% of my class with Cali awards in a few classes. Law school was easy for me because I was learning stuff I could actually apply in life and loved learning. For me, it is easier to remember when you understand it, than just trying to remember it.

  11. How I Came Back To Ohio.

    My final semester of law school, I transferred to Fort Lauderdale Florida to intern at the public defenders office. My mentor Roberto Stanziale, also lived there and that was my hometown the 3 years I lived in Florida. After I graduated law school, I got a job offer in Tampa Bay at the public defenders office. I passed the Florida bar on my first try. However, the moral character portion actually denied me because of what happened in college. Almost 7 years earlier. Despite all my legal success in school and work, my job opportunity in Tampa and good character, they would not let me practice for a year. Knowing Ohio’ bar was coming up, and this is where my family lived, I decided to come to Ohio and take the bar. I had 10 days to prepare for the Ohio Bar and passed that as well in the same year.

  12. Best Boss I Ever Had.

    Instead of working as a paralegal in Florida, I moved back to Ohio to try to find a job as a lawyer. My friend offered me a job to get on my feet reviewing appraisals while I was awaiting bar results and looking for a job. At the age of 30, I was once again living with my parents. I passed the Ohio Bar and continued reviewing property appraisals while I looked for a lawyer job. Of course, me becoming a lawyer was a hit among my friends because they were aware of my struggles and how I never gave up. My friends ended up referring me cases. After I got two clients, and one paid me $2,000, which is what I was making in a month. Having no expenses because I was living at home, I quit my job and built a website. Instead of looking for a job, I ended up looking for clients. “If you built it, they will come”. After living with my parents for a year, I saved enough money and moved to downtown Columbus. I have been in the central Columbus area until I moved to Grove City in 2020.

  13. My Lawyering Experience.

    When I first became a lawyer, my dad always told me, “Do not sale your soul”. I do not represent murderers unless I think they are innocent, and I do not represent people guilty of child crimes. One of my first clients within 6 months of being a lawyer was a murder case. I met with the family and client and believed he was innocent, so I took the case. My client was 36 years old and stabbed a 16 year 10 times in self-defense. When I got the case, all my friends were like, dude, you just became a lawyer, you can’t take a case that serious, you haven’t even had a trial yet. I said, are you kidding me, I have been ready my whole life. I now understood the pain I suffered 7 years earlier (going to jail), was a blessing in disguise. All the experience I gained in the following 6 years was invaluable. I had the best mentors and hands on experience.  I learned more about how to be a lawyer with my work experience than I did in law school. I observed and was part of over 100 trials. I took those experiences with me and hit the ground running.

    Since 2010, I have been running my own firm. My website shows I focus on criminal law, but I also represent clients in family, civil, personal injury and business relations in Ohio. I have filed appeals, matters in Federal Court and one appeal to the Supreme Court. I have loved the last 12 years gaining empathy and understanding. I have represented over 600 clients in the past 13 years. Each one with their own life story. It’s truly amazing to be a lawyer and get the opportunity to help people.  

  14. Why Faith Is Important.

    “If your going to determine peoples fate, you must have faith”. There really are two things related to faith that have changed my perspective in life and is why I care for people so much. “Love your neighbor, like you love yourself” and “Turn the Other Cheek”.  I used to think turn your cheek meant, be a bigger man and walk away. Now I realize it means, do not hit that person, because hitting them is hitting you, we all come from the same God. I really am mindful of the blessings God gave me to help people. I am blessed and want people to be blessed. My goal is to use the instrumentality of being a lawyer to help out the masses.  You must have compassion but also be mindful of accountability. We do not need a prosecutor filled with hate, we need one filled with empathy and compassion.

  15. How I Became A Republican

    Over my life I have felt more of an American, then a member of any particular party. I like to be an independent thinker and vote based on the person, not the party. I knew I could not make it alone and had to pick a party. I was told to pick the Democratic party because I lived in Franklin County and it would be easier to get elected. I did not want to make my decision based on what would be easier, but what I could stand by. When I looked at the differences between the parties, I felt there were only 3 main differences which is why I can’t believe we have all this fussing.

    Those differences being (1) Pro Life, (2) Pro Guns and (3) Immigration. I liked the Republican values better because I think pro guns is a big deal. It is what keeps the government from taking over and is the real safety to outsiders. Who is going to invade a country of 300 million armed citizens. As to immigration, as a human, I wish we did not have borders, and wish everyone lived in prosperity. But I understand the society we live in, they are important for safety and assimilation. Finally, as to prolife, I do not like the idea of abortions, or telling women what to do. I would always remain neutral on that subject because it is not up to me. My goal would be provide programs, education and incentives to make women want to keep their child. I could not in good conscious advocate for abortions after seeing my son at 10 weeks. A little superhero figure with a sword between his legs. The moral of the story is, although I am a Republican, I am an American first. I am more like you than you realize. Please look past the political position and understand I am running for a moral position.  

  16. I Am Not Running On Slogans, But Ideas.

    Since I became a lawyer in 2010, I started to keep a file labeled “Governor Rutan”. Over my years of being a lawyer, every time I would get an idea on how to make things better, I would write it down and store it away. After 10 years of being a lawyer, I opened the file and picked 30 ideas and decided to run for office in 2020.

    I ran for State Representative in District 17. I tried to do it, like I am this time. I did not ask for money but put my information out there and engaged in every debate I could. I had a list of 30 laws I would pass that covered an array of areas in society. My opponent had no ideas and did not show up for one debate. He rode the coat tail of the Republican Endorsement, and I lost by 200 votes in the primary. Like law school, I did not give up. Four years later, I was going to make another run.

  17. Why I decided to Run for County Prosecutor.

    I ended up moving out of District 17 and into Grove City. I was considering running for 3 different offices in 2024. I was getting anxious and wanted to help out more people. I considered Franklin County Sheriff because I could help improve the work force and jails. I considered Family law judge because Dads needs someone like me in that arena. I also thought of Franklin County Prosecutor because I figured instead of fighting for the right thing, I can do the right thing.

    The more I thought and prayed on it, I really felt running for Franklin County Prosecutor was my calling. I wrote down a list of pledges and each time I looked at them, I would get chills down my spine. I am a big believer your emotions are your sixth sense. I realized I had a lot of good policies and ideas I accumulated over time and felt I could make a positive difference. I figured I have spent my whole life fighting to try to do what’s right, this could be a great vessel to accomplish that. If I was the County Prosecutor, I could assist officers and sheriffs by calling conferences to educate on lawful conduct. That helped me check that position off. Family Judge I felt was important, but I did not feel I could affect as many people as I would like.

    I made the decision to run after one more conversation with some family. Knowing how the opportunity made me feel, and believing I would be an exemplary candidate, I just made the decision and made a Facebook post about it on October 12th. I knew the first step was the hardest and once I committed, I was in it for the greater good. I felt this was a greater calling because I realized it was a moral position, more than political. That I could make a difference immediately.

    For further verification from the Universe I am going down the right path, I later realized, the day I announced my candidacy, it was on the day my best friend’s mother was born who unfortunately passed away way too early just a few years ago. What was the chance out of all the opportunities I had, that was the day I picked not even being aware of the day until after my post. Later that week, when I went to Church, the message was about Rising Up. For Gods’ light workers to make a difference. The pastor addressed issue 1 and said, although he does not like to talk about politics in church, this was a moral issue, not a political issue. I realized then, so was the position I was running for. I was going to rise up, and get my message to the voters, to look at the person not the party. That the position I am running for, is a moral position, not a political one. I have empathy, heart, humility and experience.  


Thank you for your time and consideration.


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