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GOP sweeps statewide races in Ohio

By DAN SEWELL, Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 4, 2014 (AP): Highlights from Tuesday's Ohio elections:

TOP OF THE TICKET: Even before he clinched re-election Tuesday, Gov. John Kasich said it's ``only halftime'' as he stood on Ohio State's football field in a TV ad in the last days of the campaign. Voters made the final call Tuesday, but for the most part, the race had been like the typical match-up between the Buckeyes and a smaller in-state opponent. Kasich took an early lead and built on it all the way.

Gov. John Kasich

Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald's campaign got national attention in a bad way, with missteps and negative disclosures keeping the Democrat on defense. Kasich led a GOP sweep of statewide offices.

Kasich, a former congressman and Fox News TV host, unseated Democrat Ted Strickland four years ago, and his job approval ratings have risen as Ohio's economy continues to rebound. In 2006 Strickland broke a run of four straight GOP gubernatorial victories in Ohio.


VOTER VOICES: At a Grandview Heights polling station in suburban Columbus, Joe Heisler, a retired engineer, voted a straight Republican ticket.

``Every one of them is doing a good job. And there's no reason to put any of them out,'' he said.

Heisler, 72, was critical of what he called negative campaigning by Democrats, ``making up stuff that wasn't even remotely true.''

By contrast, Steven Smith said he voted a straight Democratic ticket.

``I'm a Democrat and I like to support my party, and I think this year we need all the help we can get with that,'' said Smith, 28, who is in financial insurance sales. He said FitzGerald's problems, such as not having a regular driver's license for a decade, just added to a tough challenge in what was ``an uphill battle the whole way.''

Sherri Margraf, 51, of Anderson Township in suburban Cincinnati, said she is a Republican, but votes for the candidate or issue. She said she voted for Kasich.

``I think he has been a strong leader, and I think it is nice to have the continuity of leadership,'' she said. Margraf said she voted a mix overall but picked Republican incumbents in the statewide races. ``Again, I think the continuity of leadership, when it's been strong, is important for our society.''

Also in the township, Bill Tucker, 62, said he's a Democrat who votes for candidates, not party. He unenthusiastically voted for FitzGerald and wanted state Rep. Connie Pillich of the Cincinnati area to upset Republican Treasurer Josh Mandel.

“I think that Josh Mandel has not done the job he was elected to do and has instead made a job of politicking,'” Tucker said.


OTHER STATEWIDE RACES: A Columbus Dispatch poll released over the weekend indicated the treasurer's race was the closest among statewide candidates, but Mandel held off Pillich to join the Republican statewide sweep with incumbents winning re-election for attorney general (Mike DeWine), secretary of state (Jon Husted), and auditor (Dave Yost).


CONGRESS: House Speaker John Boehner handily won re-election, as Ohio's congressional delegation remained the same. All 12 Republicans and four Democrats won election.


LEGISLATURE: Republicans retained control of both chambers of the Ohio Legislature.


TRAFFIC CAMERAS: Cleveland's voters were being asked by city leaders to give a green light to continued traffic camera enforcement. However, early returns showed most voters backing an issue that would mean Cleveland could only use camera enforcement if a police officer is present and writes the ticket. That would likely mean an end to a profitable program for the city.

Associated Press writers Ann Sanner, Jennifer Smola and Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Lisa Cornwell in Cincinnati and Mark Gillispie in Cleveland contributed to this report.

Copyright © 1989 to 2014 by [LaPrensa Publications Inc.]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 11/11/14 19:35:44 -0800.




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