Tuesday’s ballot was packed with races and issues.
There were some big surprises, close races and a lot to keep up with.
Here’s a look at 10 highlights from the election:
1. It’s DeWine vs. Cordray Round 2
Democrat Richard Cordray and Republican Mike DeWine each fended off challengers from within their political parties on Tuesday and will now face each other in the governor’s race this fall.
It’ll be a rematch of 2010 when the two men battled one another in the race for attorney general. DeWine ousted Cordray from the attorney general’s office that year, beating him by 48,686 votes out of 3.8 million ballots cast.
Ohio’s next governor faces daunting challenges: fixing a chronically under-funded unemployment compensation fund, working with public colleges and universities to help train future workers and produce graduates who aren’t swamped in debt, and addressing the opiate addiction crisis that killed more than 4,000 Ohioans in 2016. Additionally, the next governor will have to decide whether to continue Kasich’s expanded Medicaid, which offers health care to an extra 725,000 low-income Ohioans, and pays for addiction treatment.
2. Darryl Fairchild beats the machine
Community activist Darryl Fairchild twice ran for Dayton commissioner and lost. Tuesday night he scored the local upset of the election.
Daryl Ward had the backing of Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, other commissioners and the Montgomery County Democratic Party.
“I met with some young voters, and they are so disillusioned with the political climate, and they found a breath of fresh air in my authenticity and my integrity, and I hope I bring that to the commission,” he said.
3. Jim Renacci will be Ohio’s Trump test in the fall
President Donald Trump didn’t get involved in the Republican primary for governor, but he did get involved in Ohio’s U.S. Senate primary, backing Akron-area Congressman Jim Renacci over Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons.
The president was in Cleveland just days before the election with Renacci right there with him.
“He’ll be fantastic,” President Trump said of Renacci.
In November, Renacci will face Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown, a test of the power of Trump in Ohio.
President Trump won Ohio by almost 9 points in 2016, but Brown is predicted to have the upper hand this fall.
If Renacci were to defeat Brown, it will send a signal nationally that Ohio may be a red state going forward, taking it off the table in 2020 as states such as Arizona and Georgia become more unpredictable.
4. In 2022, we will see if State Issue 1 makes a difference
Ohio voters have overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that will change the way the battleground state draws congressional districts.
Now we have to wait until after the 2020 Census to see if it works.
The latest proposal aims to curb gerrymandering, the partisan manipulation of political boundaries that’s seen as a cause of partisanship, gridlock and incivility in Washington.
The amendment limits how counties are split into multiple districts and requires more support from the minority party to put a 10-year map in place.
If lawmakers can’t agree, an existing bipartisan commission will take over. If that fails, the majority party can pass a shorter-term map.
The first election it will impact is in 2022.
5. First-time candidate with local support Ohio House primary
With all votes counted in both Darke and Miami counties, Jena Powell of Arcanum has beaten three other Republicans in one of region’s most expensive statehouse primary races.
She won almost 50 percent of the vote. John W. “Bud” O’Brien of Troy came in second with 21 percent of votes. J.D. Winteregg of Troy was third with 19 percent and George H. Lovett of Tipp City got about 11 percent.
Current State Rep. Steve Huffman is leaving the seat to run for state Senate.
6. Future of Kil-Kare site in flux
Who says your vote doesn’t matter?
Two votes. That is the unofficial margin separating opponents of a Kil-Kare Speedway rezoning request from supporters of the plan.
If that tally stands when the results are certified, that would trigger an automatic recount by the board of elections.
The owner of Kil-Kare sought the zoning change to allow for a possible “store and locks” type of facility. However, a group of citizens were concerned about other possible activities that the zoning change could lead to, including adult entertainment types of businesses.
The citizens hired a lawyer and petitioned to put the referendum on the May 8 ballot.
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