Republican Mike DeWine Retains Governor’s Office and Republicans Maintain Control of all Statewide Seats
Governor Mike DeWine and Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted saw an easy victory over Democratic opponents Nan Whaley and Cheryl Stephens, winning with approximately 62.79 percent of the vote to 37.21 percent. The Republican incumbents also swept all the remaining statewide offices:
- Dave Yost wins the Attorney General race over Jeff Crossman (60.37 percent)
- Keith Faber takes the Auditor’s race over Taylor Sappington (58.98 percent)
- Frank LaRose will continue as Secretary of State, defeating Chelsea Clark (D) and Terpsehore Maras (I) (59.54 percent)
- Robert Sprague won the Treasurer’s race over Scott Schertzer (58.78 percent)
Voter turnout in Ohio was low this year. Only 4.099 million people cast ballots, for a turnout of 51.05 percent of registered voters. This is down from 2018, the last gubernatorial election year, when 4.496 million voted (55.72 percent).
In the rest of the country, Democrats did well in the races for governor. Thirty-five other states elected governors this year, with 15 states electing Democrats and 16 electing Republicans. Four races still remain close, with a Democrat leading in two and Republicans leading in the other two. Democrats were able to flip Maryland and Massachusetts blue and are leading
in Arizona, while Republicans are leading in Nevada. Should the leads hold, Democrats will hold the top elected seat in 24 states, up from 22 states currently.
J.D. Vance Wins U.S. Senate Race
Republican J.D. Vance will be Ohio’s newest U.S. Senator after holding off his Democratic challenger, U.S. Representative Tim Ryan. Vance, an author and venture capitalist living in Cincinnati, won his first term in the Senate by taking 53.28 percent of the vote to Congressman Ryan’s 46.72 percent. Vance will be the state’s junior Senator following Senator Rob Portman’s (R)
decision not to run for re-election.
Democrats may maintain control of the Senate with several key races undecided at this writing. Republicans needed to pick up one seat to take control and while they will likely flip Nevada, Democrats have flipped Pennsylvania. There are four races still too close to call at this time, including 2020 battleground states Arizona and Georgia, where Democratic Senators Raphael Warnock and Mark Kelly are leading. Should current leads hold, there will be a 50/50 split, giving Democrats control with the vice president’s tie-breaking vote.
U.S. House in the Balance
Ohio’s Congressional delegation has a few new faces and one less member after this election. Current Representatives Bob Gibbs (R) and Anthony Gonzalez (R) choose not to run again and as noted above, Representative Tim Ryan (D) ran for the U.S. Senate seat. The state lost its 16th seat as a result of reapportionment following the 2020 Census.
Democrats were able to gain one seat in the delegation this election, as incumbent Representative Steve Chabot (R) was defeated by Democratic challenger Greg Landsman. Ohio will have 10 Republicans and five
Democrats serving in the U.S. House next year. Other newcomers will include Max Miller (R) and Ohio Representative Emilia Sykes (D).
Overall, control of the House remains undecided. Republicans need to pick up five seats to take control, but at this writing, it remains unclear if they have done so.
The new Ohio House delegation:
- 1st District: Greg Landsman (D)
- 2nd District: Brad Wenstrup (R)
- 3rd District: Joyce Beatty (D)
- 4th District: Jim Jordan (R)
- 5th District: Bob Latta (R)
- 6th District: Bill Johnson (R)
- 7th District: Max Miller (R)
- 8th District: Warren Davidson (R)
- 9th District: Marcy Kaptur (D)
- 10th District: Mike Turner (R)
- 11th District: Shontel Brown
- 12th District: Troy Balderson (R)
- 13th District: Emilia Sykes (D)
- 14th District: David Joyce (R)
- 15th District: Mike Carey (R)
Republicans Pick Up Seats in Both Ohio House and Senate Adding to Their Supermajorities
Republicans in the Ohio House were able to pick up four seats, including defeating incumbent Democrats Richard Brown of Canal Winchester and Thomas West of Akron, though Brown’s loss was within the automatic recount range. Republicans also took open seats in Lucas and Trumbull Counties. These wins give the Republicans a 68 to 31 supermajority.
In the Senate, the Republicans have added to their
majority by picking up the seat currently held by Democrat Tina Maharath of Canal Winchester. This win increases the Republican majority to 26, with only seven Democrat members.
Republicans Retain Majority on Ohio Supreme Court
Justice Sharon Kennedy (R) wins the Chief Justice position, replacing retiring Justice Maureen O’Connor, who is leaving the court due to mandatory retirement requirements. Justice Kennedy won 56.31 percent to Democratic Justice Jennifer Brunner’s 43.69 percent. Despite her loss in the Chief Justice race, Justice Brunner will keep her current seat on
the Court. Justice Kennedy’s win creates a vacancy on the court that will allow Governor DeWine to appoint a new justice next year after she officially takes the Chief Justice seat.
In the other two races, Justices Pat DeWine (R) and Pat Fischer (R) were both able to keep their seats. Justice DeWine, son of Governor Mike DeWine, defeated Judge Marilyn Zayas (D) of Hamilton County’s First District Court of Appeals by a vote of 56.55 percent. Justice Fischer defeated Judge Terri Jamison (D) of the Tenth District Court of Appeals in Franklin County, by a vote of 57.15 percent. Justices DeWine and Fischer joined the Court in 2016, both having previously served on the First District Court of
Appeals in Hamilton County.
With these wins plus the likely appointment of a Republican to the open seat, the Republicans will maintain their 4-3 majority on the Court.
Other Key Results Around the State
Cuyahoga County Executive - Chris Ronayne (D) will be Cuyahoga County’s next County Executive, winning over Lee Weingart (R). The vote was 63.79 percent for Ronayne to Weingart’s 36.14 percent. Ronayne is the former president of University Circle, Inc., where he served in that
role for 16 years. Prior to his time with University Circle, Ronayne spent many years in Cleveland city government, serving as the chief of staff and chief development officer for former mayor Jane Campbell.
Columbus Bond Package and Charter Amendments – Residents of the City of Columbus authorized a $1.5 billion bond package to support five different initiatives in the areas of health, safety and infrastructure; recreation and parks; neighborhood development; public service; and public utilities. They also approved of three updates to the city charter, recommended by the Charter Review Commission, to improve the ballot initiative process; speed the hiring of diverse and qualified city
employees and update job titles and responsibilities; and modernize public meetings and offices by allowing expanded technology usage. Each issue passed with over 60 percent of the vote, several with more than 70 percent.
State Constitutional Issues: Voters across the state approved of two constitutional amendments that were put on the ballot by the members of the Ohio General Assembly. Issue One, which would require courts to consider factors like public safety when setting the amount of bail, won with 77.56 percent of the vote. Proponents of the amendment said that it will require judges to consider public safety considerations, including the seriousness of the offense, as well as a
person’s criminal record, and the likelihood a person will return to court, in setting the amount of bail for a defendant. Opponents unsuccessfully argued that judges already consider public safety issues in setting bail and that wealthy defendants will be able to pay bail regardless of their risk to public safety. Issue Two adds an amendment to the state constitution to prohibit local governments from allowing non-electors to vote, winning by 77.05 percent. Non-U.S. citizens are not able to vote in federal or state elections, but proponents argued that as a home rule state local governments could allow non-electors to vote.