COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — After a surge in early in-person and absentee voting, final 2020 ballots have been cast in Ohio.
Enthusiasm among voters is high. A record 3.4 million people took advantage of early and mail-in voting amid the coronavirus pandemic, up from 1.89 million absentee ballots cast in Ohio for the 2016 general election. Poll worker recruitment efforts also hit a record.
Republican President Donald Trump has again won Ohio, a traditional bellwether for the nation.
Democrat Joe Biden mounted a vigorous challenge to Trump for the state’s 18 electoral votes, but fell short. The former vice president stepped up media spending as early voting began in October, even as Trump’s campaign pulled back on some spending in the state.
Trump easily won Ohio in 2016 with notable support from blue-collar manufacturing and mining communities disenchanted with his opponent, Hillary Clinton, and buoyed by the Republican’s promises that he would bring back jobs to hard-hit communities.
HOUSE DISTRICT 1
Republican Rep. Steve Chabot clinched his 13th term in Congress, defeating a first-time Democratic candidate who drew substantial backing in the southwest Ohio race.
Public health professional Kate Schroder had been seen by Democrats as their best shot for finally flipping one of Ohio’s incumbent-friendly seats in the last election before Census-triggered redistricting.
The 67-year-old Chabot touted a consistent conservative record that usually lined up with Republican President Donald Trump, while Schroder pledged to defend the Affordable Care Act if elected.
HOUSE DISTRICT 10
Republican Rep. Mike Turner won his 10th U.S. House term, defeating a first-time Democratic candidate in his first close race since being elected in 2002.
Turner, the former Dayton mayor, had bested all previous opponents to 2020 challenger Desiree Tims by double-digit percentage margins.
The Black woman from Dayton has been an activist on conservation and served as an aide in the U.S. Senate and White House. The 50-year-old Tims was better-funded than most previous Democratic challengers and called climate change a top-priority issue.
Turner, 60 and white, is considered a center-right Republican. He’s made military matters a congressional priority.
HOUSE DISTRICT 12
Republican U.S. Rep. Troy Balderson won a second full term representing Ohio’s 12th congressional district, besting a Democratic opponent who was new to politics.
Voters picked Balderson, a small business owner from Zanesville, over Alaina Shearer, a former journalist from Delaware who runs a digital media company.
Shearer, 41, campaigned to end the “misinformation war,” but failed to negatively link Balderson to Republican President Donald Trump, who had endorsed and campaigned for him in the past.
Balderson, a former state lawmaker, struck a centrist tone to win the closely divided district, touting his work on bipartisan legislation favoring STEM education and broadband internet access and citing his championing of coronavirus relief money.
HOUSE DISTRICT 14
Four-term Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Joyce was reelected after facing a spirited challenge from Democrat Hillary O’Connor Mueri, a first-time candidate.
Joyce, 63, of Chagrin Falls, has represented Ohio’s 14th Congressional District east of Cleveland since 2013. He won each of his first four races handily, but the district had been trending Democrats’ way and buoying their hopes of capturing the seat.
Mueri, 42, a lawyer and former naval flight officer from Painesville, advanced pro-union, pro-abortion rights positions and criticized Joyce as representing special interests and corporations over constituents back home.
Joyce, a former Geauga County prosecutor, won support in the politically divided district for being willing to negotiate with, and at times stand up to, Republican President Donald Trump, including on behalf of the health of Lake Erie.
OTHER HOUSE RACES
Republican Rep. Brad Wenstrup, who served in the Iraq war as an Army combat surgeon, won his fifth term from southern Ohio’s 2nd District. He defeated Democratic teacher Jaime Castle.
Democratic Rep. Joyce Beatty won her 4th term from the Columbus area’s 3rd District in Ohio, defeating Republican Mark Richardson, a U.S. navy veteran.
Republican Rep, Jim Jordan, a fiery conservative supporter of President Donald Trump in Washington, won an eighth term from northwestern Ohio’s 4th District, defeating Democrat Shannon Freshour.
Republican Rep. Bob Latta, a reliable GOP vote in Washington, won an eighth term from northwest Ohio’s 5th District, defeating Democrat Nick Rubando.
Republican Rep. Bill Johnson won his 6th term from eastern Ohio’s sprawling 6th District, defeating Democrat Shawna Roberts.
Republican Rep. Bob Gibbs won his 6th term from north-central Ohio’s 7th District, defeating Democrat Quentin Potter.
Republican Rep. Warren Davidson was reelected from western Ohio’s 8th district, which he first won in a 2016 special election for the seat being vacated by U.S. House Speaker John Boehner. The Army veteran defeated Democrat Vanessa Enoch in a rematch of 2018, when he won with 67 % of the vote.
Democratic Rep. Marcy Kaptur, the longest-serving woman ever in the U.S House captured her 19th term, defeating Republican Rob Weber in northern Ohio’s 9th District. Kaptur, of the Toledo area, was drawn into a heavily Democratic district dubbed “the Snake by the Lake” during GOP-dominated redistricting that took effect in 2012.
Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge was elected to her sixth term for northeast Ohio’s 11th District, defeating Republican Laverne Gore. Fudge was drawn into heavily Democratic district in GOP-dominated redistricting that took effect in the 2012 elections and has been getting 80% of the vote every two years.
Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan, who made a short-lived run for the Democratic presidential nomination, was elected to his fifth term from northeast Ohio’s 13th district. He defeated Republican Christina Hagan in the working-class area he had consistently won with more than 60% of the vote.
Republican Rep. Steve Stivers won election to his 6th term from central Ohio’s 15th District, defeating Democrat Joel Newby.
Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a former Ohio State University and professional football player, won reelection from northeast Ohio’s 16th District, defeating Democrat Aaron Godfrey. Gonzalez won the seat in 2018 after Republican incumbent Jim Renacci pursued statewide office.
STATE SUPREME COURT
Democrat Jennifer Brunner has defeated incumbent Ohio Supreme Court Justice Judi French in one of two contested races on the state high court. Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy turned back Democrat John O’Donnell to leave the GOP with a 4-3 majority on the state’s highest court.
Brunner is a state appeals court judge and a former Ohio Secretary of State. She made an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate in 2010. French, a former assistant Ohio attorney general, was running for her second full six-year term on the court. French won election in 2014 after being appointed to the court a year earlier.
Republicans retained their supermajorities in both chambers of Ohio’s Legislature on Tuesday despite a federal bribery scandal involving the former speaker, Larry Householder.
The outcome gives the GOP enough votes to override a governor’s vetoes and to more easily place constitutional amendments before voters.
The race in the rural district of disgraced former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder includes four write-in candidates attempting to unseat the once-powerful politician, who refused to step aside from his reelection bid despite facing charges in a $60 million bribery scheme.
The four challengers — of varied parties and backgrounds — are unified in their attacks on Householder’s questionable ethics and his role in passing a nuclear bailout bill at the center of the scandal that now faces renewed scrutiny at the statehouse. Still, a Householder victory appears likely in District 72, given his strong ties in his native Perry County and an endorsement by the local Republican Party.
He is the only candidate listed on the ballot, having fielded no Democratic challenger. The heavily Republican district also covers Coshocton County and Licking County in east-central Ohio.
Find AP’s full election coverage at APNews.com/Election2020.