Keller Joseph Blackburn was born on August 3, 1979, the son of Melvin and Nickie Blackburn of Nelsonville, Ohio. Keller grew up in Nelsonville and worked as a child alongside his father in Blackburn Home Furnishings, when he was not running a garden stand with his Godfather Delbert Kuhn.
Keller is married to Jennifer Blackburn. Jennifer, a professor at Hocking College and Ohio University, is originally from Berkey, Ohio.
Throughout his life, Keller has been an avid sports fan. In high school, Keller played football, basketball, and baseball as well as playing American Legion baseball and competing in the 1996 State Tournament. Keller graduated from Nelsonville-York High School in 1998.
Keller’s passion for law began in high school where he was a three time member of the school’s Mock Trial Team. During his three years, Keller was named Outstanding Attorney and competed at the state level once.
Keller is a 2002 graduate of Ohio State University with a degree in Political Science. While at OSU, he participated in student government and was head manager for the OSU Baseball Team receiving his Varsity O. He was a member of the 1999 Big 10 and Regional Championship team that finished one win shy of the College World Series.
In the Spring of 2000, Keller was selected to take part in the inaugural John Glenn School of Public Policy and Public Service’s Washington Program. During his time in D.C., he worked in the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration. Keller did research for the Clinton Administration developing proposals for bridging the “digital divide” in Appalachia.
After graduation, Keller spent a brief time as a substitute teacher and taking graduate classes at Ohio University before moving back to D.C. He was hired by the Washington Workshop Foundation, which prepares young citizens to be future leaders through tours and seminars. He worked there until enrolling in law school.
Keller graduated from Cleveland-Marshall College of Law in 2006. During law school, he took part in many scholastic and extracurricular activities. He was on Law Review, where he was named Editor of the Year in 2006. He competed as a part of the International Moot Court Team. Keller founded the second Law School Democrats organization in the state and served as president. Keller was elected by his peers to be Vice President of Programming for the Student Bar Association. During the summer of 2005, Keller again returned to Washington, D.C. to work on the Strickland for Governor campaign.
Out of law school, Keller worked for Attorney Michael Nolan’s office in Nelsonville, Ohio, before becoming an Assistant Athens County Prosecutor. He was honored as the 2009 Meritorious Award winner by the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association and received the 2011 National Society of the American Revolution Law Enforcement Commendation Medal. Keller is a past President of the Athens County Bar Association.
Keller has followed in his parents’ footsteps as an involved community member. He was president of the Nelsonville Area Chamber of Commerce from 2008-2010 where he co-founded North Pole Nelsonville. Keller was also on the Nelsonville Parade of the Hills committee for ten years. He supports various organizations including the Trimble Township Bridgebuilders.
Keller was appointed Athens County Prosecutor by the Democratic Central Committee in 2011. On November 6, 2012, he was elected to the term beginning January 7, 2013. He loves his job and works hard to protect the citizens of the county he calls home. Keller currently sits on the Legislative Committee, Executive Committee, and Public Relations Committee of the Ohio Prosecuting Attorneys Association.