Republicans retain state offices

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The executive and legislative branches of Ohio’s government remain in Republican control after Tuesday’s election.

Republican incumbent Gov. Mike DeWine and Lt. Gov. Jon Husted defeated Democratic challengers Nan Whaley, former mayor of Dayton, and Cheryl Stephens, vice president of Cuyahoga County Council. Ohio Rep. Jeffrey Crossman (D-15) failed to unseat Attorney General Dave Yost. Secretary of State Frank LaRose bested two challengers: Democrat Chelsea Clark and independent Terpsehore Maras. Treasurer Robert Sprague defeated former Marion Mayor Scott Schertzer.


Nelsonville City Auditor Taylor Sappington, a Democrat, won in several counties – including Athens County – but that wasn’t enough for him to unseat incumbent state Auditor Keith Faber.

Voters elected Sharon Kennedy, a Republican, as chief justice of the state supreme court, over Democrat Jennifer Brunner. Kennedy succeeds outgoing Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, who has reached mandatory retirement age. Sitting justices Pat Fischer and Pat DeWine return to the court, having defeated Democratic challengers. All three Republicans won by wide margins.

Republican Kristy Wilkin ran unopposed for District 4 Court of Appeals.

Athens County, as usual, chose Democratic candidates for state office over Republican incumbents.

Ballot issues

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Voters also voted about 3-to-1 to accept two Republican-backed ballot issues amending the state constitution.

State Issue 1 requires judges to consider the seriousness of the offense and a defendant’s criminal record when setting bail. Previously, the constitution defined bail only in terms of a defendant’s likelihood of returning to court for pretrial hearings and trial. 

The measure also eliminated the Ohio Supreme Court’s responsibility to oversee rules around bail. 

Supporters of the amendment said it would protect the public from violent criminals. Opponents argued that the measure was unnecessary, as state law already allows judges to consider the seriousness of the offense and the “history and characteristics of the accused” in setting bail, and upset the separation of power by putting bail rules in the hands of the legislature.

The measure was placed on the ballot by Republicans in the Ohio Legislature, which approved the proposal along party lines in late spring 2022. 

State Issue 2 amends the state constitution to prohibit local governments from extending voting privileges to noncitizens. Rep. Jay Edwards (R-94) was one of the measure’s sponsors in the state legislature.

Yellow Springs is the only town in the state to approve noncitizen voting rights. Voters in the Greene County village passed a referendum allowing noncitizens to vote there in 2019.

Athens County voters approved both measures by a two-thirds margin.

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