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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Portman Endorses Renacci

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Ohio’s Republican U.S. senator has once again endorsed a candidate in this year’s race against Democratic incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown. As Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports, Sen. Rob Portman is siding with a colleague who just joined the race over the candidate who’s been in it for months.

In May, Portman endorsed Treasurer Josh Mandel.

“Today I’m encouraging all Republicans to unify behind Josh so we can work together.”

But a few days later, Cleveland banker Mike Gibbons jumped in. Gibbons looked like the leading candidate when Mandel abruptly quit the race earlier this month. But Portman has thrown his support behind Congressman Jim Renacci, who suddenly moved over from the race for governor.

Portman tweeted that Renacci “has a track record of success as a job creator and battle-tested conservative leader.”

All 10 of Renacci’s Republican colleagues in the Ohio Congressional delegation have also endorsed him. Gibbons hasn’t responded, other than to note he’s picked up endorsements from some local conservatives, including two former Mandel chairs. 

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.