Democratic hopes of taking at least one statewide office dwindled Tuesday night as Election Day in-person votes poured in, wiping out the appearance of tight races from early absentee ballots.
All those races swung heavily in favor of Republican incumbents.
Two hours after the polls closed Secretary of State Frank LaRose pulled well ahead of Democrat Chelsea Clark, with 59% of the vote to 40%, while independent Terpsehore “Tore” Maras remained just below 1%.
Attorney General Dave Yost built a similarly strong lead over Democrat Jeffrey Crossman, 60% to 40%, while Auditor Keith Faber led Democrat Taylor 58% to 42%.
In the one race where a Democrat led early on, though by a small margin, that lead evaporated: Treasurer Robert pushed past Democrat Scott Schertzer 58% to 42%.
Those early unofficial results were based on about 2.6 million votes reported from the state’s 8 million registered voters.
Secretary of State
The secretary of state is Ohio’s chief elections officer, overseeing all elections in the state’s 88 counties and appointing members of each county’s board of elections. The secretary also has a prominent role in Ohio business, granting licenses and keeping business information such as ownership, trade names and some financial data.
Republican incumbent Secretary of State Frank LaRose is seeking a second four-year term.
LaRose said he wants to push for less regulation on businesses. He has been the driving force behind Issue 2, the proposed constitutional amendment on the Nov. 8 ballot to permanently bar noncitizens from voting in any local or state election in Ohio.
The Democratic nominee for secretary of state is Chelsea Clark, a member of Forest Park city council.
Clark said she supports expanded voting access and registration, improved cybersecurity and creation of an “office of entrepreneurship” as a one-stop shop for new small businesses.
The third name on the ballot for secretary of state is Terpsehore “Tore” Maras, a Cleveland conservative podcaster who sought to run as a Republican but will appear as an independent. Maras, a 2020 election denier, was kept off the Republican primary ballot by paperwork errors and failure to gather enough valid signatures for her candidacy
Auditor of State
The auditor serves as Ohio’s chief compliance officer, responsible for auditing all public officials and entities in the state. That includes more than 5,900 local government bodies, public schools and libraries. The office pursues accusations of fraud, provides performance audits, and offers other financial services. The auditor has a staff of more than 800.
The Democratic challenger for the job is Taylor Sappington, Nelsonville city auditor.
The attorney general is the state’s chief law officer. The AG’s office has about 1,500 employees in 10 offices throughout Ohio, including in Springfield; they’re divided into more than 30 sections focusing on different aspects of law. The office is probably best known to the public for prosecuting corruption and filing lawsuits on the state’s behalf.
Republican incumbent Dave Yost, seeking a second term, has previously served as state auditor, Delaware County prosecutor and a Delaware city council member. He lives in Franklin County.
Following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturn of Roe v. Wade, Yost pushed to lift the injunction that had blocked the 2019 “Heartbeat Bill” from going into effect. The bill bans almost all abortions after five or six weeks’ gestation, before many women know they’re pregnant. A Hamilton County court again blocked the “Heartbeat Bill,” and Yost has appealed that injunction.
The Democratic candidate is state Rep. Jeff Crossman, D-Parma, who is on his second term in the Ohio House.
Treasurer of State
The treasurer is Ohio’s chief financial officer and banker, managing and investing state assets, keeping track of unclaimed property, and offering financial advice to the state.
The Democratic nominee is Scott Schertzer, mayor of Marion.
The incumbent, seeking a second term, is Republican Robert Sprague. The Findlay resident has served as that city’s auditor and treasurer, and was in the Ohio House from 2011 to 2018.
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