Voter turnout for a midterm election soared to its highest percentage since 1994 as 54 percent of Ohio residents cast ballots in this crucial election. A contentious statewide ballot issue, five statewide offices, two seats on the Ohio Supreme Court bench, a U.S. Senate seat, all 16 Ohio Congressional seats, half of the Ohio Senate and all 99 Ohio House seats gave Ohio voters plenty of material and mailers to review since the May primary.
The Ohio Farm Bureau Agricultural for Good Government Political Action Committee Friend of Agriculture candidates proved to be successful at the polls, with 95 percent of all Friend of Ag candidates winning their bids. After announcing opposition to Issue 1, OFB members also helped handily defeat the ballot initiative.
For the first time since 1974, Ohio elected a U.S. senator and a governor from opposing parties. As voters selected Republican Mike DeWine to serve as governor for the next four years, they checked incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown with another six years in D.C.
Republicans were also successful in the other top of ticket races, with Dave Yost replacing outgoing Attorney General DeWine and Frank LaRose filling the office of secretary of state vacated by soon to be Lt. Gov. Jon Husted. Former Senate President Keith Faber will take over as auditor and Robert Sprague will leave his Ohio House seat to take the reins as treasurer.
On the judicial ballot, Judge Melody Stewart defeated Justice Mary DeGenaro, and Judge Michael Donnelly defeated Judge Craig Baldwin. Both DeGenaro and Baldwin were named the Friend of Agriculture candidates in their respective races.
In the Ohio Statehouse, Republicans held a 62-37 majority in the House as Democrats picked up five seats, but not closing the veto-proof margins. Republicans improved their majority in the Senate, gaining a seat and now controlling 25 of the 33 districts. Friend of Agriculture candidates were successful with 75/79 of the FOA House candidates successfully winning their seat, and all 16/16 senate candidates being successful.
While the final numbers are still to be determined, it is clear the U.S. House will shift to Democratic control, while the U.S. Senate will remain in the hands of Republicans. Ohio’s incumbent congressional representatives were all successful in their re-elections, while the only open seat of the 16 Ohio districts was won by Republican Anthony Gonzalez. Of the 11 congressional candidates named Friends of Agriculture, all were successful.
Ohio Farm Bureau keeps members abreast of election information and legislative issues at the Farm Votes Matter website. Members also received a copy of the organization’s Election Guide with their September/October Buckeye Farm News publication. To get involved with issues at the local level, contact your county Farm Bureau office.