2022 Election Recap
Ohio Republicans maintained their stronghold on controlling Ohio’s legislative and statewide offices, sweeping to victories in all five statewide offices and increasing their supermajorities in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate.
They also maintained control of the State Supreme Court heading into 2023 and kept the US Senate seat of the retiring Rob Portman in Republican hands through the victory of JD Vance over Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan.
Secretary of State Frank LaRose reported that voter turnout in Ohio was especially high for the general election, a substantially higher estimate than the dismal turnout levels for the long-delayed August primary election (due to the ongoing redistricting process).
Incumbent Republican Governor Mike DeWine easily won a second term against Democratic challenger and former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, winning by 62.8% to 37.2%. DeWine had consistently maintained a double-digit lead in almost every poll taken during this race and was touting his economic development activities and Ohio’s overall economy as the main reasons he should be re-elected. DeWine will begin his final four-year term in January of 2023 and the speculation will begin on which Ohio Republicans are establishing preliminary campaigns with hopes to succeed him in 2026.
OHIO STATEWIDE OFFICES
Republican incumbents in the other four elected statewide offices each easily won re-election over their lesser-known, underfunded opponents.
TREASURER—(R) Robert Sprague (inc) defeated (D) Scott Schertzer by a 58.93-41.07%
SECRETARY OF STATE—(R) Frank LaRose (inc) (59.5%) crushed (D) Chelsea Clark (39.4%)
ATTORNEY GENERAL—(R) Dave Yost (inc) defeated (D) Jeff Crossman by a 60.4%-39.6% margin
AUDITOR—(R) Keith Faber (inc) easily beat (D) Taylor Sappington 59%-41%
OHIO SUPREME COURT
Republicans were also successful in maintaining their advantage on the Ohio Supreme Court by sweeping all three contested races. Entering this midterm election, Republicans had a 4-3 advantage on the Court but were facing the mandatory age retirement of Republican Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor. On the other side, Democrats looked at the Court as an opportunity to gain control of not only the Chief Justice position but the Court’s majority. Adding to the intrigue of these Supreme Court races was, for the first time, candidates running for the Court were identified for
voters on the ballot by party affiliation as a result of legislation passed earlier this year by the state legislature.
CHIEF JUSTICE—(R) Sharon Kennedy easily beat (D) Jennifer Brunner 56.3% to 43.7%
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE—(R) Pat DeWine (inc) soundly defeated (D) Marilyn Zayas 56.6% to 43.4%
ASSOCIATE JUSTICE—(R) Pat Fisher (inc) defeated (D) Terri Jamison 57.1% to 42.9%
In one of the highest profile US Senate races in the country, Republican venture capitalist and author JD Vance defeated Democratic Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan by 53.3% to 46.7%. Vance won a very hotly contested Republican primary in August with the last-minute endorsement of former President Donald Trump, while Democrat
Ryan’s campaign targeted independents and moderate Republicans not in tune with Trump in an attempt to gather a diverse voting coalition that could defeat Vance.
This race had been very high-profile and nasty from the start and millions of dollars of “dark money group” spending has been flowing through political ads throughout Ohio’s TV and radio airways. National Democrats had chosen not to come into Ohio and invest money in Ryan, as while the race appeared to be close throughout the lead up to election day, many here felt Vance would be victorious and hold the Senate seat for Republicans. Former President Trump made a last-minute visit to Ohio on election eve to rally for Vance, an event that was also attended by Governor DeWine.
Entering these midterm elections, Republicans held a 12-4 advantage in Ohio’s delegation. However, due to the recent census, Ohio would lose one seat in the state’s delegation, meaning Ohio would have just 15 seats for election. Ohio Democrats picked up one net seat by beating long-time Republican incumbent Steve Chabot in the 1st District (Cincinnati-Warren County) and held two Democratic districts, thereby making Ohio’s Republican majority in the US House at 10 seats to 5.
The following are the results of the three districts that received most of the attention:
1st District—(D) Greg Landsman upset (R) incumbent Steve Chabot 52.5% to 47.5%
9th District—(D) Marcy Kaptur (inc) easily defeated (R) JR Majewski 56.5% to 43.5%
13th District—(D) Emilia Sykes held this district by defeating (R) Madison Gilbert 52.6% to 47.4%
OHFAMA member Brad Wenstrup, DPM, easily won re-election in the 2nd District earning 74.5% of the vote over Democratic challenger Samantha Meadows.
Entering election night, Republicans held a 64-35 seat advantage in the Ohio House and control of this chamber will remain in their hands. With all 99 seats up for election, the question entering this election was could the Republicans add to their supermajority or could House Democrats recapture a few seats to stem the large Republican tide. As of this writing -- with a few outcomes still being officially decided and awaiting final precincts reporting -- it appears Republican will add several seats to their already large majority, having a potential 68-31 advantage in the new legislative session that begins in 2023.
While our legislative “lame duck” session awaits to end 2022, one crucial order of business for House Republicans will be the selection of a new Speaker of the House for the new two-year session that begins in January. Current House Speaker Bob Cupp is term-limited and there appears to be at least four viable contenders to success Cupp in leading that caucus. As of this writing, no firm date or rules of selecting a new Speaker have been established forthis upcoming crucial vote for a new caucus leader.
Republicans also went into election night holding a huge 25-8 advantage in the Ohio Senate and that advantage will grow in 2023, as Senate Republicans flipped one Democratic seat and will now hold a historic 26-7 advantage beginning in 2023. Current Senate President Matt Huffman will continue his leadership of this chamber through 2023-2024, so unlike their House colleagues, Republicans in the Senate have a very stable leadership environment.
Senate Democratic Leader Kenny Yuko is term limited and expected to be succeeded in this leadership role by Senator Nickie Antonio of Lakewood.
The results from the two most hotly contested Senate races are:
3rd District—(R) Michelle Reynolds defeated (D) incumbent Tina Maharath 52.7% to 47.3%
27th District—(R) Kristina Roegner (inc) rallied very late to defeat (D) Patricia Goetz 51.2% to 48.8%
STATEWIDE BALLOT ISSUES
There were two proposed statewide ballot issues that were before Ohio voters on election day, and each won by a large margin.
Issue 1, which will require courts to consider factors like public safety when setting amounts for bail, easily won by a 77% to 22% margin.
Issue 2, that would prohibit local governments from allowing non-citizens to vote in local elections, also passed by a 77%-22%