Complete Story


2018 Election Recap

2018 Election Recap

Paul Kudlak
The Junto Company

As expected, the 2018 mid-term elections races were competitive.  Midterm elections historically have resulted in losses for the party of the President sitting in the White House. The narrative dominating the news cycle was how big would the “blue wave” be and would that translate here in Ohio? After the results were calculated late into the night, it’s apparent that while nationally the wave was choppy, here in Ohio the water stayed mostly calm as the GOP had a great election night.



With nearly $30 million spent on the race for governor, Republican Mike DeWine beat Democrat Richard Cordray by a margin of 50.6% to 46.4%. Governor-Elect DeWine took advantage of his strong name ID throughout the campaign. His message of continuing to build upon Ohio’s economic progress that has been made the last 8 years under Republican control also worked well throughout the state especially in the outer-suburbs and rural areas of Ohio.

Attorney General

In the race for Attorney General, current State Auditor Dave Yost’s beat Democrat Steve Dettelbach 52-46%. Yost’s name ID and message against Issue 1 most likely helped him get across the finish line first. 

Secretary of State

In a race many were saying could switch party control, Democrat State Representative Kathleen Clyde came up short in her contest against Republican State Senator Frank LaRose as Ohio’s top campaign official by a margin of 51% to 47%.


In the closest contest for statewide office and another race democrats believed was there for the taking, former Senate President Keith Faber(R) bested former Congressman Zack Space(D) 50% to 46%.  


Voters elected Republican State Representative Robert Sprague over Rob Richardson 53.5-46.5%.


House of Representatives

The Ohio House will continue to be led by Republicans but their majority became smaller with the apparent loss of 5 seats. A handful of races may be close enough for a recount though. If none of those races are overturned, the margin of Republican control in 2019 will be 61-38. Democrats were able to win seats in a handful of suburban districts especially in Franklin County seats where Dr. Beth Liston (23rd House District), Mary Lightbody (21st House District) and Allson Russo (24th House District) all defeated their Republican opponents. Casey Weinstein in Summit County and Cuyahoga County, Democrat Phil Robinson also won their races.


The Senate Democrats lost another seat as Michael Rulli defeated John Boccieri

52.5-47.5%. in the 33rd Senate District (Youngstown). This pickup now expands the Republican majority in the Ohio Senate to 25-8.

US Congress:

House of Representatives

Nationally the wave did manage to wash away the Republican control of Congress and gives the majority of the House back to the Democrats. It appears that Nancy Pelosi will once again hold the Speaker’s gavel. However, in Ohio, incumbency has it’s privileges and was too difficult for any challenger to overcome.  In the higher profile races, Republican Congressman Troy Balderson (12th Congressional District) and Congressman Steve Chabot (1st Congressional District) defeated their Democratic challengers.  In the only open Congressional seat (16th Congressional District) vacated by Jim Renacci, Anthony Gonzalez easily beat his Democrat opponent Susan Moran Palmer.


Incumbent Sherrod Brown was elected to his third term in the U.S. Senate by defeating challenger Congressman Jim Renacci by a vote of 53%-47%. Although Brown was the lone bright statewide spot for Democrats, the margin of this victory was not as wide as many predicted. Nationally, Republicans were able to defend many seats and they will maintain a majority in the next legislative session. It is worth noting that many national political analysts believe that Senator Brown could be potentially be part of the Democrat Presidential ticket in 2020. Ohio is an important state to win and Brown has shown his ability to connect with Ohio voters. 


Voters overwhelmingly defeated a constitutional amendment aimed at lowering the penalties for lower level drug possession offenses by a 65% to 35% margin.