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Government and Politics

What to read into Tuesday's election night results in Ohio
Political leaders disagree on what this election means for the future of their parties

Jo Ingles
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
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It’s said that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. The same could be true of election results.

As Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports, political parties have different takes on the results of local races throughout the state.

Hear more on Ohio's election outcome 2013

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If you ask Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern what he thinks about the outcomes of local races statewide, he’ll tell you how his party was able to build and capitalize on good voter outreach. And he’ll tell you Democrats won big in key races because voters are tired of policies of Republican Gov. John Kasich— and recent attempts to curtail collective bargaining.

“The defeat of Senate Bill 5 and its political implications lived on last night in the defeat of issue one in Cincinnatithe pension reform bill and the loss of Mike Bell, who described himself a buddy of John Kasich, the governor and Mayor Bell have spent a lot of time together and in support of each other,” Redfern said.

Democrats back the independent
Bell, the mayor of Toledo lost his bid for re-election to an independent candidate who was backed by some Democrats. 

Redfern says this election was a big win for Democrats who won races in every part of the state, including places where they haven’t traditionally prevailed. 

He says it foretells what is likely in the 2014 general election.

“I believe we are going to be successful in 2014 for a number of reasons,” Redfern said. “It’s about what we value and about what Republicans value.  It’s about how the Republican party has taken for granted its tea party base.”

Tea party differs
“I didn’t really see it that way,” Zawistowski said.

That’s Tom Zawistowski, a tea party activist.  He says the results of the election show Ohioans back the tea party. 

He says just take a look at his home county, Portage, where more than half of the candidates with tea party endorsements won. 

Zawistowski says voters like tea party candidates and that’s why Ohio lawmakers are trying to make it harder for its candidates to be on the ballot and get elected to office.

“We are the only opposition to big government,” Zawistowski said. “We are the only opposition to these people who do not want to have a free and open political process.”

Chris Schrimpf of the Ohio Republican Party has a different take on the situation. 

He says this election proves Ohioans are fed up with President Obama’s health care policy and that’s why many local Republican candidates were elected.

“They are seeing that Republican policies at the state level are working and they can apply that to the local level,” Schrimpf said. “That’s why you see tax levy increases being rejected but tax levy renewals being supported.  People are happy with the Republican government that they are seeing in Ohio and they want to continue it.”

Schrimpf notes Republicans won big in Hamilton County, which went for President Obama in last year’s election. 

He believes the outcome of this election bodes well for Gov. Kasich as he begins his re-election efforts.

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