Republican Mike DeWine cruised to victory over Democrat Richard Cordray Tuesday and Republicans swept every statewide office on the Ohio ballot, including secretary of state, attorney general, state auditor and treasurer.
All of the congressional races thought to be up for grabs, or at least competitive, also went to Republicans with the exception of Sen. Sherrod Brown, the Democrat who won reelection to the U.S. Senate over Republican Jim Renacci.
But DeWine, at the top of the ticket, proved to be the catalyst for a hugely successful Election Day for the Ohio GOP. His running mate for lieutenant governor was Jon Husted, the current secretary of state, while Cordray teamed up with Betty Sutton.
With 98 percent of the votes counted, DeWine won by a margin of 51.2 to 46.5 percent over Cordray. The remaining votes were split among the Green Party and Libertarian candidates.
Cordray ran an aggressive campaign, attacking DeWine on numerous issues, but DeWine showed an ability to repel the attacks and turn the tables on his opponent during three debates. DeWine slammed Cordray for his support of Issue 1, a ballot proposal that would have changed Ohio’s constitution to weaken the state’s drug laws.
The impact of President Trump’s two trips to Ohio in the final month of the campaign season also cannot be over estimated. Trump, on each trip to Ohio, saved some of his harshest rebukes for Cordray and his performance as director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Trump accused Cordray of wasting taxpayer dollars on an extravagant headquarters renovation and repeatedly called him a “bad person” who went after small banks and would “destroy your state” if elected governor.
Ohio’s new Secretary of State will be Republican Frank LaRose, who took 51 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Democrat Kathleen Clyde. This keeps the secretary of state’s office in Republican hands. Clyde had promised to impact future elections through redistricting and also promised to implement a less rigid control over the voter rolls.
In the race for attorney general, Republican Dave Yost was elected with 52.7 percent of the vote, compared to 47.3 percent for Democrat Steve Dettelbach.
Republican Robert Sprague will be Ohio’s new state treasurer, taking 53.8 percent of the vote to 46.2 percent for Democrat Rob Richardson.
For state auditor, Republican Keith Faber was victorious over Democrat Zack Space by a margin of 50.2 to 45.8 percent.
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Anthony Accardi is a writer and reporter for The Ohio Star.