November 26, 2014

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State GOP wins big


Dems lose control of House

Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish says his Democratic Party has lost the majority in the House after two years of being in power.

The shift of the House puts Republicans in charge of the Ohio Legislature. The GOP already has a Senate majority. All 99 seats in the House were up for election on Tuesday.

Republicans capitalized on a weak economy and intensity among their base of voters. The party was outraised and outspent by House Democrats in the campaign.

The House GOP had previously been in power for 14 years. They lost control in 2008 as Democrats were boosted by voter support for President Barack Obama.

In a statement before all the results were in, Budish says he called the House Republican leader to congratulate him.

DeWine returns to office as AG

Former U.S. Sen. Mike DeWine has won his race for Ohio attorney general, ousting the Democratic incumbent and completing a GOP sweep of statewide offices.

DeWine will return to elected office after defeating Richard Cordray to take over the attorney general post for the next four years. Cordray first won the office in a special election in 2008 after predecessor Marc Dann resigned under political pressure after a sexual harassment scandal.

DeWine raised issues such as vacancies and DNA processing at the state crime lab under Cordray’s term. The Republican had a tough race with Cordray, who had scored key law enforcement and newspaper endorsements.

O’Connor wins top court seat

A Republican will lead the Ohio Supreme Court.

Justice Maureen O’Connor has defeated Chief Justice Eric Brown, a Democrat, for the top seat on the high court. O’Connor has been on the court since 2002, while Brown was appointed chief following the April death of the long-serving Thomas Moyer.

In another Supreme Court race, Justice Judith Ann Lanzinger, a Republican, was leading Democrat Mary Jane Trapp with about two-thirds of precincts reporting. Trapp is a former Ohio Court of Appeals judge and the 11th District presiding/administrative judge.

O’Connor’s win means she will leave open her current seat, to be filled by governor’s appointment.

Yost keeps state auditor Republican

Republican David Yost has defeated his well-funded Democratic opponent to become the next Ohio auditor.

Yost kept the office Republican by defeating Democrat David Pepper, a Hamilton County commissioner and son of a former Procter & Gamble Co. chief executive.

Yost’s victory means a seat on the state’s powerful apportionment board, which will draw state legislative districts next year.

The party with the most seats on the five-member board can craft the districts to its own advantage, influencing state elections until 2021.

Yost — a prosecuter and former auditor in Delaware County — will fill the office being vacated by Republican Mary Taylor, who dropped her re-election bid to run for lieutenant governor.

Mandel to be next treasurer

Republican state Rep. Josh Mandel has won his bid for Ohio treasurer after what has been an unusually nasty campaign for the seat.

Mandel defeated Democratic incumbent Treasurer Kevin Boyce to become chief investment officer of state funds.

The two candidates bickered over each other’s gifts and trips taken while in office.

They also accused each other of making false statements in campaign materials.

Gov. Ted Strickland appointed Boyce to the post two years ago. He is a former Columbus city councilman and the first black Democrat to hold a statewide nonjudicial office.

Boyce had lagged behind Mandel in fundraising and spending in the race.

Husted to become next elections chief

Republican state Sen. Jon Husted has won his bid for Ohio secretary of state, giving the GOP the office that will oversee the next presidential election in the traditionally battleground state.

Husted’s victory Tuesday also gives Republicans a key seat on the powerful apportionment board, which draws the state legislative districts every 10 years after the census and is scheduled to meet next year.

The former Ohio House speaker defeated Democrat Maryellen O’Shaughnessy, a former Columbus city councilwoman and the clerk of Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

Husted replaces Democrat Jennifer Brunner, who vacated the post to run for U.S. Senate. She lost in the primary.