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Government & Politics

O'Donnell Concedes a Closely Contested Ohio Supreme Court Race

photo of Pat Fischer and John O'Donnell

All the statewide races on this month’s ballot were decided by fairly big margins, except one.

But the contest between Ohio Supreme Court justice between Republican appeals court judge Pat Fischer of Cincinnati and Democratic Cuyahoga County Common Pleas judge John O’Donnell is now over. 

O’Donnell conceded the race to Fischer, who had a 24,000 vote lead over O’Donnell. That’s close, but it had to be within a quarter of 1 percent of the votes cast, or about 10,000 votes, to trigger an automatic recount.

Secretary of State spokesman Josh Eck says recounts don’t usually result in different outcomes.

“The only thing that sometimes changes a little bit is a couple of paper ballots here and there, but even those are pretty accurate. So it’s not likely a recount would change the results very much.”

Only one other statewide race has ever been close enough for an automatic recount – the 1990 attorney general’s race, in which Democrat Lee Fisher got 1,234 more votes than Republican Paul Pfeifer, who’s retiring from the Supreme Court this year.