Yesterday’s election generated great interest among voters, with voter turnout at 54.3%, the highest for a gubernatorial election year since 1994.
The public polls were once again wrong leading into yesterday’s election. Many anticipated that the Democrats could pick up some statewide offices, including that of governor. Instead, Republicans swept all the statewide executive offices.
Mike DeWine (R) defeated Richard Cordray (D) 50.66% – 46.45%
Dave Yost (R) defeated Steve Dettelbach (D) 52.42% – 47.58%
Auditor of State
Keith Faber (R) defeated Zach Space (D) 49.93% – 46.06%
Secretary of State
Frank LaRose (R) defeated Kathleen Clyde (D) 50.92% – 46.73%
Treasurer of State*
Robert Sprague (R) defeated Rob Richardson (D) 53.53% – 46.47%
What this means for OIA: The next leaders of the Ohio Department of Insurance and the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation will be picked by the DeWine/Husted team. This team’s business-friendly approach should result in sound picks for both state agencies.
Also of note is that DeWine, Faber and LaRose will play key roles following the 2020 census when Ohio draws new maps for Congressional and Statehouse districts that will last for a decade. While Ohio recently passed redistricting reform, the governor, secretary of state and auditor will still sit on the redistricting commission that draws the Statehouse districts and also may engage in the Congressional mapping if needed.
Ohio Supreme Court
Judge Melody Stewart defeated Justice Mary DeGenaro 53-47% and Judge Michael Donnelly beat Judge Craig Baldwin 61-39%. Unfortunately, DeGenaro and Baldwin failed to benefit from the momentum the Republicans had, as voter drop off in these races was high, with more than 900,000 Ohioans skipping these races. The makeup of the court beginning in January will be 5-2, which will quite possibly result in more split decisions and could impact which cases the Court chooses to accept and which cases it rejects. Furthermore, with two seats lost this election, the 2020 election takes on increased importance as two seats will be up for election on the Court, and should Justices French and Kennedy fail to retain their seats, the philosophical makeup of the Court could be dramatically altered to be more activist in nature.
Ohio House of Representatives
All 99 seats for the Ohio House were on the ballot. At this point, it looks like the Democrats likely picked up four seats. This would reduce the Republican majority in the House to 62-37. Of significance here is that the House Republicans supermajority (which carries with it veto override authority) remains intact.
The Senate Republicans likely picked up another seat, further strengthening their veto proof supermajority. Heading into next year, the Republicans will control 25 of the states 33 senate districts.
OIA PAC Results
This year, OIA PAC contributed just under $57,000 to candidates, with a significant amount of this going to statewide candidates (just under $30,000). Overall, OIA PAC supported 37 candidates this year. Of these candidates, 30 won their races and seven lost.
With the election now over, legislators will be getting back to work in what is anticipated to be an extremely busy lame duck session. Look for more information to come on legislative activity that is likely to take place in the coming weeks as the year winds down.
As always, don’t hesitate to contact me with any questions!