While this year’s election has been dominated by stories of insurgent and anti-establishment candidates, Ohio bucked the trend tonight as Governor John Kasich and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton swept to victory in the Buckeye State. The story was the same in primary races for the Ohio House and Senate as most long-time incumbents and so-called “establishment” candidates won. Ohioans were so focused on making a statement that untold numbers crossed over party lines to cast their ballots. What does that mean for the state’s legislative agenda? All signs point to officeholders viewing these results as a vindication of the direction they’ve taken with the main focus on tax and spending policy.
Beyond the presidential race, the results in several races across Ohio will have significant impact on Ohio’s direction – from both a policy as well as a political standpoint – for the next several years. In the Ohio Senate, the frontrunner for Senate President, Larry Obhof, defeated his challenger by a substantial margin in a race that drew attention from the start. In fact, all incumbent State Senators won their primaries. In a closely-watched race in Cuyahoga County, Matt Dolan won a three-way race to become the Republican nominee in the 24th Senate District over two House members. In Ohio House races, former Speaker Larry Householder won the right to appear on the fall ballot. Apparently only one incumbent State Representative will lose his seat in this primary as businessman Craig Riedel is defeating Rep. Tony Burkley in the 82nd House District. All other incumbents appear to have survived the night on both sides of the aisle.