Republicans Sweep All Ohio Statewide Offices, Re-take Ohio House and U.S. House
Two former Ohio Farm Bureau Presidents Win Key Races and will now serve in the Ohio House of Representatives and U.S. Congress
As the most expensive mid-term elections in the nation’s history drew to a close, Ohio was once again ground zero in this year’s election and after two consecutive election cycles in which Democrats scored major wins in Ohio and nationally; Ohioans and voters all across the country swung the pendulum squarely back in favor of Republicans. Ohio Farm Bureau staff and volunteers engaged members in this year’s election through numerous channels including social media, open seat screenings, candidate speeches and tours, the Farm Votes Matter campaign and much more, but we are especially proud of former OFBF Presidents Bob Peterson and Bob Gibbs who both ran strong, positive, and winning campaigns that earned their seats in the Ohio House (Peterson, 85th House District) and the United States Congress (Gibbs, OH-18th Congressional District).
Listed below is a breakdown of how Ohio Farm Bureau’s Friends of Agriculture and Friends of Farm Bureau candidates faired overall in the election.
Statewide Legislative & Judicial Races:
OFBF selected Rob Portman as the Friend of Agriculture in Ohio’s open U.S. Senate seat, Justice Maureen O’Connor as the Friend of Agriculture in the race for Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court, and Justice Judith Lanzinger as a Friend of Agriculture in her bid for another term on the court. All three candidates scored decisive victories in their races.
Ohio delegation to the U.S. Congress:
Five of Ohio’s 18 members of Congress were ousted by a wave of voter anger that benefited Republican challengers. In this year’s election cycle OFBF-AGGPAC awarded the Friend of Farm Bureau designation to nine out of 18 of Ohio’s members of Congress. Eight of the nine “Friends” (88%) were successful in their races including Republican Leader John Boehner who is likely to be the next Speaker of the House. As the new Congress comes into session in January the Ohio delegation will include five new members of the House including Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) who returns to his seat after being ousted by freshman Rep. Steve Driehaus (D-Cincinnati) in 2008, Bill Johnson (R-Poland) who unseated Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-St. Clairsville), Steve Stivers (R-Columbus) who won his re-match against freshman Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D-Columbus), Jim Renacci (R-Wadsworth) who unseated freshman Rep. John Boccieri (D-New Middletown), and Bob Gibbs (R-Lakeville) who unseated two term Rep. Zack Space (D-Dover). Ohio’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives now stands at 13 Republicans to 5 Democrats and the overall balance of power in the chamber is currently projected to be 239 Republicans to 187 Democrats with 9 seats still too close to call. Republicans picked up six seats in the U.S. Senate and the overall balance of power in the Senate is now projected at 53 Democrats to 47 Republicans.
The odd-numbered seats in the Ohio Senate were up for grabs this year and OFBF selected a Friend of Agriculture in 15 of the 17 districts. 12 of the 15 (80%) “Friends” were successful in their races. Republicans picked up two seats previously held by Democrats making increasing the balance of power from 21-12 to 23-10. When the Ohio Senate is gaveled into session in January there will be 12 new Senators of which 5 have previous legislative experience in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Ohio House of Representatives:
Ohio Farm Bureau designated a Friend of Agriculture in 81 of the 99 Ohio House races this year. 69 of the 81 “Friends” (85%) won their races and will serve in the upcoming 129th Ohio General Assembly. Nearly 1/3 of the Ohio House will turnover as a result of the 2010 election in which 32 new Representatives were elected. Republicans picked up at least 12 seats previously held by Democrats and now control the chamber by a margin of 58 to 39 with two seats still too close to call.
Preparation for the 129th Ohio General Assembly & 112th U.S. Congress:
Clearly there will be many new faces in both the Ohio legislature and U.S. Congress as both legislative sessions convene in January of 2011. Ohio Farm Bureau members are encouraged to do one or more of the following activities to reach out and get to know new and returning members legislators:
· Send a hand-written card or note of congratulations to your new or returning state representative, state, senator, U.S. Representative, and U.S. Senator. Also send a note or call your local officials such as county commissioner, auditor, treasurer, or township trustee to congratulate them on their races.
· Develop a plan to personally stay in contact with your elected officials and work with your county Farm Bureau board of trustees to ensure the county Farm Bureau has a plan of its own to reach out to new and returning elected officials.
· Make plans for a legislative district meeting, farm-tour, or other event where Farm Bureau members can interact with elected officials.
· Connect with your elected officials by following them on Facebook and Twitter and stay connected with Farm Bureau by signing up for public policy e-mail updates and action alerts.
Looking forward to Election 2012:
In 2012 Ohio will undoubtedly play a major role in the Presidential election as the state’s demographics, large number of Electoral College votes, timing of presidential primary, and past performance in presidential elections continue to make Ohio a key battleground state. In addition to presidential race, Ohioans will elect a U.S. Senator (seat currently held by Sen. Sherrod Brown), two Supreme Court Justices (seats currently held by Justices Robert Cupp and Terrence O’Donnell) as well as all members of Ohio’s delegation to the U.S. House of Representatives, all 99 members of the Ohio House of Representatives, half of the Ohio Senate (even numbered districts) and numerous local officials.
Director of Political and Legislative Education,
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation
P: 614-246-8254 or E-Mail: [email protected]