Ohio election 2018: Races for governor, Senate to heat up


Yes, you just finished voting in the 2017 general election and you’re looking forward to watching TV without political ads. But politicians never stop campaigning and the 2018 election — a doozy — is just around the corner.

Here is a quick preview of what’s to come.

Ohio Governor

Eight candidates — four Democrats, four Republicans — are officially in the race, and a fifth Democrat, Ohio Supreme Court Justice William O’Neill, says he will run but won’t make it official until the filing deadline. On the GOP side of the equation are: Attorney General Mike DeWine, Secretary of State Jon Husted, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci. Democrats in the race so far are: Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton and former state representative Connie Pillich.

RELATED: What issues do you want the next governor to handle?

Down and dirty analysis: The Republicans have four well-known, experienced candidates who can raise money and grab statewide media attention. The GOP’s biggest problem is the real potential that the four will tear each other to pieces and blow huge amounts of money in the primary election. The Democrats are known within their regions but lack statewide name identification and are under-funded compared with the Republicans. A primary could be bruising and expensive for Dems as well. On top of that, Democrats are still waiting to hear whether former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray will enter the race.

U.S. Senate

Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown beat Republican state Treasurer Josh Mandel by six percentage points in the 2012 election. Mandel wants a rematch — a rarity in U.S. Senate races. But before Mandel can take on Brown, he needs to beat Cleveland-area business mogul Mike Gibbons in the GOP primary.

RELATED: How much are the governor candidates worth?

Down and dirty analysis: Brown faces a tougher election cycle because Democratic voter turnout is typically lower in gubernatorial elections than it is in presidential elections. Likewise, Ohio went for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 contest, indicating the state may be trending more Republican. That said, Mandel courts controversy on a regular basis. He spent $1.8 million in taxpayer money on TV ads starring himself to promote a new program. He also announced that he was standing with right-wing conspiracy theorists who the Anti-Defamation League identified as members of the alt-right and alt-light movements.

Down Ticket Races

Attorney General: State Auditor Dave Yost, a Delaware County Republican, is the likely GOP candidate to go up against Democrat Steve Dettelbach, the former U.S. Attorney for the northern district of Ohio.

Auditor: State Rep. Keith Faber, R-Celina, who is the former Ohio Senate president, is running against Democrat Zack Space, a former U.S. representative.

Secretary of State: State Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Copley, is running against state Rep. Kathleen Clyde, D-Kent. Both lawmakers have shaped their legislative resumes with voting and elections-related bills.

Treasurer: State Rep. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, is running against Democrat Rob Richardson of Cincinnati.

Down and dirty analysis: At this point the primary election will be ho-hum in these four races with no intra-party fights. The success of the candidates is often closely linked to how well their candidate does in the governor’s race.

Ohio Supreme Court

Justices and Terrence O’Donnell are not allowed to run for re-election because of their ages. Judges statewide are prohibited from running an election once they turn 70.

That means two open seats will be up for grabs.

Justices are selected through partisan primaries but then their party label is stripped from the ballot in the general election. For the record, O’Donnell is a Republican and O’Neill is the only Democrat on the seven-member court.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

U.S. may put tarriffs on China, other steel-producing countries
U.S. may put tarriffs on China, other steel-producing countries

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Friday urged President Donald Trump to impose steep tariffs on China and other steel-producing countries, contending they are illegally dumping steel into U.S. markets. In a 262-page report that was praised by many Ohio lawmakers, Ross charged that imported steel products are priced “substantially lower&rdquo...
The new Hamilton fire chief has many to thank for his career, including his mother-in-law
The new Hamilton fire chief has many to thank for his career, including his mother-in-law

Some people, when they’re sworn in to a new city government position, bring a few family members with them. When new Hamilton Fire Chief Mark Mercer was sworn in on Wednesday, he brought a few … and a few more. They all gathered at the front of Hamilton City Council Chambers for the swearing-in ceremony. There was even one from New York...
Springboro to spend $200,000 on land for new park
Springboro to spend $200,000 on land for new park

The Springboro City Council authorized the city manager to pay $190,000 for 5.8 acres of residential property on Lytle-Five Points Road and shift $200,000 in city funds to pay for the land. The votes during Thursday’s council meeting came on two legislative items added to the agenda and approved on first readings. Supporters say the new park...
President Trump to visit Florida school shooting area today
President Trump to visit Florida school shooting area today

President Donald Trump says he leaves for Florida Friday to “meet with some of the bravest people.” Trump’s tweet did not elaborate on his plans. But White House officials are working to arrange a visit to Florida in the wake of this week’s deadly school shooting. Trump writes that he’ll meet with “people whose lives...
With McCain’s retreat, some look to Romney to carry traditional GOP torch
With McCain’s retreat, some look to Romney to carry traditional GOP torch

In more ways than one, followers of traditional Republican orthodoxy are facing an emotional inflection point this week.  Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., at home battling an aggressive form of brain cancer, will not attend this weekend's Munich Security Conference, an annual gathering of foreign policy leaders from NATO nations that has become a central...
More Stories