Report on Government: Governor’s Race Narrows to DeWine vs. Cordray  

Government Relations

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted have bested Lt. Governor Mary Taylor and Nathan Estruth in the Republican gubernatorial primary. DeWine won with 59.82 percent of the vote to Taylor’s 40.18 percent. DeWine and Husted were the original front-runners in the primary contest but teamed up to run together last fall

Former Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray and his running mate, former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton, prevailed in the Democratic primary over five different contenders. Cordray easily won his contest, with 62.27 percent of the vote, outpacing his nearest competitor, former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich, by approximately 40 percent. Ohio Sen. Joe Schiavoni placed third, with approximately 10 percent of the vote, and the remaining candidates received less than 5 percent each.

The only other primary in the statewide races was the Republican primary for state treasurer between Ohio Rep, Robert Sprague and Cleveland-area educator and politician Sandra O’Brien. Sprague defeated O’Brien by a vote of 57.52 percent to 42.48 percent and will face Cincinnati-area businessman Rob Richardson in the fall. The remaining races were uncontested.

Republican Jim Renacci Will Face U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown in Fall

U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci has emerged victorious from a six-person Republican primary to face U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown this fall. Renacci, who originally filed to run for governor but switched to the Senate race following Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel’s withdrawal, took 47.38 percent of the total vote. His closest competitor, Cleveland-area businessman Mike Gibbons, received 31.69 percent of the vote.

Races for U.S. House Set, Including Open Central Ohio District Seat

The retirement of long-time U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi left open his 12th District U.S. House seat in Central Ohio. The race drew many contenders in all three primaries – 16 candidates in total. Republican Ohio Sen. Troy Balderson, Democrat Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor and Green Party candidate Joe Manchik will face each other for the remainder of the term on August 7, 2018. The same three candidates were also successful in the primaries for the contest for a full term starting in January 2019.

In the open 16th District, the seat Renacci will be vacating, former Ohio State University and NFL football player Anthony Gonzalez has won the Republican primary, defeating his closest competitor Ohio Rep. Christina Hagan by a vote of 53.06 percent to 40.79 percent. The remaining candidate, Michael Grusenmeyer, only received 6.15 percent. Gonzalez will face the winner of the six-person Democratic primary, Cleveland-area businesswoman Susan Moran Palmer, in the fall.

In the remaining 14 districts, the current House members were all successful in their primaries.

Ohio House and Senate Set for Fall Races

  • All 99 Ohio House seats and 17 Ohio Senate seats will be up for grabs in the fall and many candidates faced primary opponents yesterday. Some of the more interesting race results included:
  • Two former Ohio representatives appear to be on their way back to the Statehouse, Jim Trakas of Independence, and Jamie Callender of Lake County, both defeated their primary challengers.
  • Rep. Nickie Antonio edged out fellow Rep. Martin Sweeney in the Democratic primary for the 23rd Senate District in Cleveland.
  • Sen. Cecil Thomas held off a challenge from former Rep. Dale Mallory in the Democratic primary for the 9th Senate District in Cincinnati.

Voters Approve Statewide Issue 1 on Redistricting

Voters overwhelmingly approved Issue 1, by a vote of 74.85 percent, to reform how Ohio draws its congressional districts. Currently, the Ohio General Assembly is responsible for adopting the state’s congressional redistricting plan, subject to the governor’s veto or citizen-initiated veto referendum. Under the new plan adopted in Issue 1, the state legislature must adopt a 10-year congressional redistricting plan with 60 percent of members in each chamber voting in favor and 50 percent of Republicans and 50 percent of Democrats (or whichever two parties have the most members in the legislature) required to vote in favor. Should the state legislature fail to meet these vote requirements, then the seven-member Ohio Redistricting Commission, established via Issue 1 in 2015, would get a chance to adopt a 10-year congressional redistricting plan, requiring support from at least two members of the minority party. There are additional measures in place should these steps fail that are intended to garner agreement from the minority party in the new maps. The new redistricting process will take effect on January 1, 2021 and apply to congressional redistricting following the 2020 Census.

* All Vote Totals are Preliminary.


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