By Terry Donelon, Greater Cleveland Partnership, Director of Government Advocacy
Republican JD Vance Wins Open U.S. Senate Seat, Democrats Sweep Ohio’s Competitive Congressional Races
In what was a hotly contested race to succeed outgoing Republican U.S. Senator Rob Portman, venture capitalist and author JD Vance (R) outpaced U.S. Congressman Tim Ryan (D) to secure a victory for Republicans. While Vance’s margin of victory trailed that of other Republicans running statewide, the Senator-elect won his race 53%-47%.
In a somewhat surprising turn of events, it was the Democrats who achieved victory in all three of Ohio’s “toss-up” Congressional seats.
OH-1: Longtime Congressman Steve Chabot (R) was defeated by Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman (D) 52.5%-47.5%.
OH-9: Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D), the longest-serving woman in the history of the United States House of Representatives, easily defeated her opponent JR Majewski (R), a first-time candidate whose demise in this Republican-friendly district was largely self-inflicted after the candidate lied about his record of service in the United States Armed Services.
OH-13: State Representative Emilia Sykes (D) overcame political newcomer Madison Gesiotto Gilbert (R) by a vote of 53%-47%
Looking at the broader national landscape, today’s headlines read thusly: Republicans overpromised and underdelivered. In what was widely expected by political pundits to be a sweeping Republican victory in the U.S. House of Representatives and a thunderous rejection of national Democrats’ policy priorities, Democrats in both the House and Senate are holding much stronger than most had predicted. Given President Biden’s low approval ratings and the calamitous state of the nation’s economy, conventional wisdom suggested that this would be a treacherous cycle for Democrats.
And yet, here we stand without any decisive indication of which party will control either chamber of Congress. While Republicans will almost certainly take the majority in the House, that majority is now expected to be very slim – increasing the potential for a bitter fight to break out over who should lead the House Republican Conference as Speaker of the House when they retake the gavel in January.
As for the U.S. Senate, neither party has secured the needed seats yet to claim victory at the time of publication. The Senate race in Georgia between Sen. Rafael Warnock (D) and Herschel Walker (R) is headed to a December 6 runoff election. Control of the Senate will hang in the balance until then.
With DeWine Leading the Ticket, Ohio Republicans Sustain Control of State Government
No surprises here – Governor Mike DeWine (R) and the entire slate of Republicans running for statewide office trounced their Democratic rivals to secure four more years of Republican leadership in state government.
With nearly 63% of the vote, Governor Mike DeWine decisively won reelection and carried the Republican ticket across the finish line. DeWine defeated former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. In DeWine’s final term as Governor, we expect him to build upon his previous four-year agenda, with a major focus on doing more to help children and address mental health.
The outcomes of the other statewide offices are as follows:
Secretary of State Frank LaRose (R) defeated Cincinnati area council member Chelsea Clark (D) with 59.54% of the vote.
Attorney General Dave Yost (R) was elected to his second two-year term after defeating Democrat Representative Jeff Crossman with 60.37%% of the vote.
Auditor Keith Faber (R) defeated Democrat Nelsonville Auditor Taylor Sappington with 58.98% of voters.
Treasurer Robert Sprague (R) will go on to serve his second term after getting 58.78% of the vote. He defeated Democrat Candidate and Marion Mayor, Scott Schertzer.
Supreme Court Justice Sharon Kennedy (R) will take the top spot as Chief Justice defeating Justice Jennifer Brunner (D) with 56% of the vote.
Justice Pat Fischer (R) defeated Judge Terri Jamison (D) with 57% of the vote.
Justice Pat DeWine (R) secured reelection over Judge Marilyn Zayas (D) with 56.5% of the vote.
As a final note, both chambers of the state legislature saw Republican gains. Senate Republicans picked up a seat, giving them a 26-7 advantage over their Democratic counterparts. Meanwhile, House Republicans are expected to capture 67 of the 99 seats in that chamber. Now it will be up to the incoming members of the House Republican Caucus to decide who will lead them next year, as current House Speaker Bob Cupp is term limited.
Ronayne to Take the Helm as Cuyahoga County Executive After Resounding Election Victory
As was widely expected, Chris Ronayne (D), well known across the county for his leadership roles both inside and outside government, defeated former county commissioner and businessman Lee Weingart (R) by a margin of 64%-36% to take over as leader of Cuyahoga County government. Throughout his campaign, Ronayne expressed a deep knowledge of and familiarity with the challenges facing the county.
Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Funding for Metroparks and Port Authority
In a strong show of support for our Cleveland Metroparks, voters chose decisively by a margin of 77%-23% to support the proposed replacement levy to ensure our Metroparks remain strong and vibrant. As a reminder, GCP was publicly supportive of the levy’s passage.
Similarly, voters approved a renewal of taxpayer funding for the Cleveland-Cuyahoga County Port Authority to ensure the continuation of operations at the port. That levy passed by a vote of 67%-33%.
For more election results, head to the following links:
State – https://liveresults.ohiosos.gov/
National – https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2022/11/08/us/elections/results-key-races.html?action=click&pgtype=Article&state=default&module=election-results&context=election_recirc®ion=NavBar