Gubernatorial field set for November
The November field in the race for governor has been set, after Ohioans voted in primary elections without any signs of major voting problems. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald easily won the Democratic primary for governor, and will challenge Republican Gov. John Kasich's bid for re-election this fall. Kasich has amassed $8.5 million for the fall campaign. Long the presumptive Democratic nominee, FitzGerald overwhelmed little-known Larry Ealy of Dayton.
6th Congressional District: Garrison wins bid to face Bill Johnson
An anti-abortion, pro-gun rights Democrat has won her primary in a bid to unseat two-time Congressman Bill Johnson. Former state Rep. Jennifer Garrison defeated Democratic primary challenger Gregory Howard, a farmer and community activist. She now faces Johnson, who was unopposed in the GOP primary. Garrison has the backing of national Democrats in an Appalachian coal region in Ohio's 6th Congressional District, which extends from Youngstown along the Ohio River to the bottom of the state. That seat is viewed by both parties as competitive this fall, having once been working-class Democratic turf.
14th Congressional District: Joyce defeats Tea Party challenger
Freshman Congressman David Joyce has defeated a tea party challenger in a spirited GOP primary. In Northeast Ohio's 14th district, Joyce won over Matt Lynch, who was backed by the conservative group FreedomWorks for America. Joyce now faces Cleveland Democrat Michael Wager, who ran unopposed in his primary. The district contains all of Ashtabula, Lake, and Geauga Counties, and parts of Cuygaoga, Summit, Portage and Trumbull.
16th Congressional District: Crossland wins primary bid to face Renacci
Former Summit County Councilman Pete Crossland has won the Democratic primary in Ohio's 16th Congressional District, in a bid to unseat two-time Congressman Jim Renacci of Wadsworth this fall. Crossland, who will be 77 when a new session of the House begins, defeated political newcomer James Donenwirth, a Cleveland businessman.
Budish wins primary race for Cuyahoga County Executive
In the Democratic primary race for Cuyahoga County Executive, State Rep. Armond Budish cruised to an easy win. Budish had collected 57 percent of the vote to runner-up Shirley Smith’s 19 percent. Budish will advance to the November election, where he will face Republican County Council member Jack Schron.
Ballot set for Statehouse races
Two Democratic incumbents in the Ohio House have won their primaries after the state party endorsed their challengers. Democratic Reps. John Barnes and Bill Patmon of Cleveland had taken heat in their races for breaking with their party on certain votes, though they prevailed in Tuesday's election. Barnes faced Jill Zimon, a former city councilwoman in the Cleveland suburbs. Patmon was challenged by Eugene Miller, a former Cleveland city councilman. Democrats had 13 contested House races, while majority Republicans had almost twice as many. Republican State Sen. Frank LaRose faced a challenge from a tea party-backed candidate in his first re-election bid Tuesday and emerged victorious. LaRose of Copley, beat first-time candidate Caleb Davenport. The race was among the most heated challenges between a sitting incumbent and tea party challenger in Ohio. Several House incumbents lost primaries, including Democrat Zack Milkovich of Barberton, who lost to Assistant Akron Prosecutor Greta Johnson.
All five Republican incumbents in the Ohio Senate prevailed over challengers. No sitting Democratic senators had opponents.
Cuyahoga sin tax passes
People who buy alcohol and cigarettes in Cuyahoga County will keep contributing to the upkeep of Cleveland’s professional sports arenas and stadiums. On Tuesday, county voters passed a 20-year sin tax extension to pay for maintenance and upgrades at Progressive Field, FirstEnergy Stadium and Quicken Loans Arena. Voters first passed the tax nearly 25 years ago and extended it once before. Opponents say their campaign against the new extension could not overcome the supporter’s heavily funded campaign. The current tax expires in September of next year. If the extension had failed at the polls, the county and city governments could have had to use other tax money to pay for the sports facility upkeep.
School renewal levies do well in Tuesday's election
There were nearly 150 school issues on the ballot, a majority of those tax renewals, which largely passed. In Northeast Ohio, Northwest in Stark County and Springfield Local in Mahoning County were the only renewals to fail. Voters overwhelmingly said ‘no’ to additional levy requests in many districts. Mogadore in Summit County lost a fourth request for new money in as many years. Bond requests were defeated in North Royalton and Olmsted Falls in Cuyahoga County, while additional levies failed in Dover and New Philadelphia in Tuscarawas County. Voters approved additional money for Shaker Heights district in Cuyahoga County, Cloverleaf in Medina County and Tusky Valley in Tuscarawas County.
Youngstown voters reject fracking ban
Voters in Youngstown have rejected a ban on fracking in the city for the third time in a year. After Tuesday's loss, opponents of the controversial shale gas-drilling process say they'll try a fourth time — and more if necessary — to pass a charter amendment that would outlaw it. Susie Beiersdorfer, a member of the Community Bill of Rights Committee that led the effort, says "it doesn't matter how many times we have to fight for our inalienable rights to clean water and clean air." City voters rejected it this time by 8.5 percentage points. The Youngstown Vindicator reports that Tuesday looked like the best opportunity for the amendment to pass, after the state announced last month a "probable" connection between drilling and earthquakes nearby.
Voter turnout less than previous primaries
The Ohio Secretary of State's office reports voter turnout for Tuesday's primary election was less than in the last comparable primary for governor and other statewide offices four years ago. The office says 16.6 percent of Ohio's registered voters cast ballots for the election. That's low compared with turnout of just over 22 percent reported in the May 2010 primary. Unofficial state results show 1.2 million ballots cast out of nearly eight million registered voters. Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald easily won the Democratic primary for governor, setting up a high-stakes showdown with incumbent Republican John Kasich in November. Voters approved the lone statewide issue to renew a public works program for upgrades to roads, bridges and other local infrastructure needs.
Berry, DeJesus honored at Washington dinner
Exactly one year after they escaped a decade in captivity, Amanda Berry and Gina DeJesus were honored in Washington D.C. and dined with President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden. Berry and DeJesus were honored by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The women spoke briefly at the dinner Tuesday, encouraging other victims to never give up hope and to pray to God during struggles. A third victim, Michelle Knight, did not attend the dinner because she was 21 when she was captured by Ariel Castro. Berry and DeJesus were both teenagers. The two had lunch with Obama and Biden before the event.
Budget bill provision would allow seizure of casino winnings of deadbeat parents
A provision in Gov. John Kasich's budget bill would allow the state to seize the casino and racino winnings of deadbeat parents to pay back child support. Kasich spokesman Rob Nichols tells The Columbus Dispatch
that the measure puts Ohio in line with other states and the federal government. Under the bill, which is being considered by the Ohio Senate today, larger winnings that must be reported to the IRS could be held to pay back child support. The legislation passed the House last month.
New mortgages down for fourth consecutive year
The Ohio Supreme Court says the number of new mortgage foreclosures in the state was down in 2013 for the fourth consecutive year. The court says the roughly 53,00 new foreclosure filings in common pleas courts last year were about 17,000 fewer than the previous year, a 25 percent drop. The court began tracking foreclosures in 1990, and the number rose for 14 consecutive years through 2009, which saw a high of more than 89,000. The 2013 figures represent a 40-percent drop from 2009. The court reported that only four Ohio counties reported an increase in foreclosures from last year. Cuyahoga County again led the state with nearly 9,000 filings, although that figure is also down.
Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport looking for new partner
The Youngstown-Warren Regional Airport is looking for a new partner after United Airlines dropped plans to start a daily route to Chicago. The Youngstown Vindicator reports that United said that the airport’s $1.75 million revenue guarantee was far too low. It wanted a $7 million guarantee. The airport still believes it will be able to get daily service from other major carriers.