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    2020 Ohio Primary Election: Results and summary

    2020 Ohio Primary Election: Results and summary

    Ohio’s primary election cycle concluded on April 28, 2020. Here are election results for the U.S. President, U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio Supreme Court, and key Ohio Senate and Ohio House races.

    Background

    On March 16, 2020, a case was filed in the Franklin County Common Pleas Court. The plaintiffs sought a temporary restraining order and a preliminary injunction to suspend all election activities scheduled to occur on March 17, 2020, and to have those activities rescheduled to June 2, 2020, due to concerns over the spread of the novel coronavirus. However, the plaintiffs’ motion was denied and, consequently, Department of Health Director Dr. Amy Acton issued an order to shut down all polls on Election Day due to the risk of COVID-19.

    Following Dr. Acton’s order to shut down the polls, Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued a directive to provide clarity to the county board of elections and candidates on campaign finance filing deadlines. However, the Ohio Legislature returned the following week and passed House Bill 197, allowing the primary election to continue until April 28, 2020. All eligible voters were permitted to request and vote by absentee ballot. A limited number of voters were permitted to vote in person on Tuesday, April 28, 2020, at their county boards of election.

    Through this unprecedented process, our team compiled results of some races of particular note and will continue to closely watch these races and others as we move toward the general election in November. (A full list of results from the U.S. House of Representatives, Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate races with primary contests is also included.)

    As results continue to come in, be advised that some of the information below may change. We will continue to update this publication as the boards of elections finalize results.

    U.S. President

    A large primary field of almost 20 candidates for the Democratic nomination whittled down to only one real contender for Tuesday’s contest: former Vice President Joe Biden. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders pulled out of the race for the Democratic nomination on April 8, 2020, and, while he and other candidates remained on the ballot, former Vice President Biden emerged victorious with 623,186 votes statewide. Former Vice President Biden will face President Donald Trump, who is seeking reelection and was unopposed in the Republican primary.

    U.S. House of Representatives

    Most congressional incumbent members had contested primaries this year. The most notable primary involved the Democratic primary for the third congressional district. Congresswoman Joyce Beatty faced a primary challenge for the first time since she won the seat in 2012. Her opponent was Morgan Harper, a former attorney with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Harper raised more money than is typical as a challenger and was supported by the progressive group Justice Democrats. But, in the end, Congresswoman Beatty easily prevailed by a 68.3 percent to 31.7 percent margin.

    Also, several individuals ran in the Republican primary for thirteenth congressional district, currently held by Congressman Tim Ryan’s seat. Many observers believe the race may be competitive this fall, though Congressman Ryan prevailed easily in 2018, even with President Trump proving very popular in the area.

    Ohio Supreme Court

    The partisan balance of the Ohio Supreme Court hangs in the balance in 2020, but neither of the two seats on the Ohio Supreme Court had contested primaries in the 2020 primary election. Justice Judi French will run against Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Brunner. Justice Sharon Kennedy will face Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas Judge John O’Donnell for her reelection. Many observers believe that behind the presidential race, these are the elections to watch in Ohio.

    Ohio House

    There were 29 contested primaries for Ohio House of Representative seats. With a high number of incumbents having been appointed to their positions during the current General Assembly, 2020’s primary is unique with so many incumbents being on the ballot for the first time. Incumbents were highly successful in their competitive primaries.

    To note, Representative Mark Fraizer is currently winning the nomination in the 71st House District. However, the margin between the two candidates is close and may not be finalized until the official canvass. The race in the 65th House District is also within a close margin, currently with Jean Schmidt winning the nomination. In addition, Representative Jason Stephens won the nomination for the 93rd House District.

    Ohio Senate

    Only one incumbent faced a primary challenge: Senator Terry Johnson. Senator Johnson won his nomination with 76 percent of the vote. However, because of term limits, several open seats featured competitive Republican primaries with members of the Ohio House facing each other for the party’s nomination. In the 4th Senate District, current Representative George Lang received the nomination against current Representative Candice Keller and Lee Wong in a hotly contested race. Current Representative Bill Reineke won the nomination for the 26th Senate District after a contentious primary with Melissa Ackison, who challenged the Tiffin incumbent. Finally, current Representative Mark Romanchuck won a five-person primary in the 22nd Senate District, the current seat that President Larry Obhof, who is term limited, holds.

    On the Democratic side of the aisle Crystal Lett picked up the nomination in a competitive race to face incumbent Senator Stephanie Kunze. Senate Democrats hope that the gains made by the party in suburban areas in 2018 will translate into a November victory, but Senator Kunze, the incumbent, enters the general election in a strong position due to early campaigning and fundraising efforts. It will be a race to watch. Similar to the race for the thirteenth congressional district, Senate Republicans hope changing demographics and the coattails of President Trump’s support will help them defeat incumbent Senator Sean O’Brien. In a contested primary, Republican Sandra O’Brien won the nomination and will now face Sen. O’Brien in the general election.

    Potential ballot issues for the November 2020 general election

    Several ballot issues were appropriately filed with the Secretary of State and approved as a single issue by the Ohio Ballot Board. However, COVID-19 will present challenges to ballot petitioners trying to collect signatures to be placed on the November ballot by the filing deadline of July 4, 2020.  Further, on April 28, 2020, Franklin County Judge David Young denied relief sought because of the COVID-19 pandemic to ballot issue groups on the signature requirements.

    Recreational marijuana legalization

    An amendment to regulate marijuana like alcohol, allowing recreational use for individuals over the age of 21, was filed with the Attorney General’s office on March 2, 2020. On March 10, 2020, Attorney General Yost rejected the summary of the amendment and stated that Section (A) of the amendment was not summarized in the summary filed. Attorney General Yost rejected the group’s next petition attempt on March 23, because it lacked the minimum number of valid signatures required.

    Lifetime General Assembly term limits

    On February 19, 2020, a group titled Ohioans for Legislative Term Limits filed an initiative petition for a constitutional amendment that limits an individual from holding state elected office more than a total of 16 years. If the constitutional amendment is approved, only years of service beginning on or after January 1, 2021 will be considered in determining the individual’s eligibility to take or hold office. In effect, this constitutional amendment will eliminate individuals from switching from each chamber but will allow currently sitting legislators to serve another 16 years, regardless of time of service to this point. The Attorney General certified the petition on February 27, 2020. The Ballot Board approved the issue as one subject on March 2, 2020. Therefore, the group that supports this measure may now begin to collect signatures to place it on the general election ballot. 

    Secure and fair elections

    This proposed Constitution amendment would change Ohio’s voting laws to allow same day voter registration in Ohio. The Ohio Ballot Board initially determined the issue was multiple issues and denied the group – partially backed by the ACLU – access to the ballot. The Supreme Court weighed in on April 14, 2020, and deemed the issue is a single issue and ordered the Ballot Board to certify the issue as a single issue. The group now may begin to collect signatures to place the issue on the general election ballot.

    Raise the Wage Ohio

    A labor-backed group filed its summary on January 17, 2020, to amend the Ohio Constitution to raise the minimum wage to $13 per hour by January 1, 2025. The Attorney General certified the petition on January 27, 2020, and, following certification from the Ohio Ballot Board that the petition contains only one issue, the petitioners can collect signatures to place the amendment on the ballot.

    U.S House of Representatives

    District Number

    Incumbent

    Candidate(s)

    Republican

    Democrat

    1

    Steve Chabot

    Steve Chabot

    Nikki Foster

    Kate Schroder

    2

    Brad Wenstrup

    Brad Wenstrup

    H. Robert Harris

     

    Jamie M. Castle

    3

     Joyce Beatty

    Celophus Dulaney

    Mark F. Richardson

    Joyce Beatty

    Morgan Harper  

    4

    Jim Jordan

    Jim Jordan

    Shannon Freshour

    Jeff Sites

    Mike Larsen

    5

    Bob Latta

    Bob Latta

    Nick Rubando

    Michael Xavier Carrigan

    Gene Redinger

    6

    Bill Johnson

    Bill Johnson

    Kenneth Morgan III

    Shawna Roberts

    8

    Warren Davidson

    Warren Davidson

    Edward R. Meer

    Vanessa Enoch

    Matt Guyette

    9

    Marcy Kaptur

    Charles W. Barrett

    Tim Conners

    Timothy Corrigan

    Rob Weber

    Marcy Kaptur

    Peter Rosewicz

    10

    Mike Turner

    Mike Turner

    John Anderson

    Kathi Flanders

    Desiree Tims

    Eric Moyer

     

    11

    Marcia Fudge

    Laverne Gore

    Jonah Schulz

    Shalira Taylor

    Marcia Fudge

    Michael Hood

    James Jerome Bell

    Tariq K. Shabazz

    12

    Troy Balderson

    Troy Balderson

    Tim Day

    Jenny Bell

    Alaina Shearer

    13

    Tim Ryan

    Tim Ryan

    Duane Hennen

    Christina Hagan

    Lou Lyras

    Robert Santos

    Richer Morckel

    Donald Truex

    Jason Mormando

     

    14

    Dave Joyce

    Dave Joyce

    Mark Pitrone

    Hillary O’Connor Mueri

    15

    Steve Stivers

    Steve Stivers

    Shelby Hunter

    Daniel Kilgore

    Joel Newby

    16

    Anthony Gonzalez

    Anthony Gonzalez

    Aaron Paul Godfrey

    Ronald Karpus III

     

    Ohio House of Representatives Candidates
    *Primary election winners in bold.

    District Number

    Incumbent

    Candidate(s)

    Republican

    Democrat

    1

     Scott Wiggam

    Scott Wiggam

    Jason Wetz

    Allison Theiss

    2

     

    Marilyn John

    Nathan Martin

    Sam Grady (WI)

     

    Carline Curry (WI)

    6

     Phil Robinson

    Shay Hawkins

     

    Ed Hargate

    Phil Robinson

    9

    Janine Boyd

    Dustin Russell

    Janine Boyd

    Vincent E. Stokes II

    10

    Terrence Upchurch

     

    Terrence Upchurch

    J. Allen Burger

    12

     Juanita Brent

    Jerry Powell (WI)

    Juanita Brent

    Felicia W. Ross

    Phyllis Ann Peterson (WI)

    Isaac Powell

    16

    Dave Greenspan

    Dave Greenspan
     

    Joe Romano

    Monique T. Smith

    17

    Adam Miller

    Adam Miller

    John Rutan

    Timothy D. Haske

    22

    David Leland

    Stephany Spencer

    David Leland

    Kashi Adhikari

    25

     

    James E. Burgess

    Mohamud Jama

    Dontavius Jarrells

    Mayo T Makinde

    Kofi Nsia-Pepra

     

    28

     Jessica Miranda

    Chris Monzel

    Jessica Miranda

    Regina Collins (WI)

    32

    Catherine Ingram

     

    Catherine Ingram

    Dadrien Washington

    33

     Sedrick Denson

    Mary L. Hill

    Sedrick Denson
    Kathy Goodwin-Williams

    36

     

    Bob Young

    Matt Shaughnessy

    Anthony Harris

    39

     

    John Ferrell Mullins III

    Willis Blackshear Jr.

    Jo’el Jones

    Walter J. Hickman Jr.

    42

     

    Tom Young

    Jacob Stubbs

     

    52

     

    Jennifer Gross

    Mark Welch

    Chuck Horn

    53

     

    Diane Mullins

     

    Thomas Hall

    Brett Guido

    Michelle E. Novak

    63

    Gil Blair

    Mike Loychik

    Gil Blair

    Werner Lange

    Barry Profato

    65

     

    Joseph Dills

    Dillion Blevins

    Jean Schmidt

    Alan Darnowsky

    66

     

    Adam Bird

    Nick Owens

    Allen Freeman

     

    70

    Darrell Kick

    Darrell Kick

    Terry Robertson

    Kevin Barnet

    71

    Mark Fraizer

    Mark Fraizer

    Thaddeus Claggett

     

    Mark Carr

    73

     

    Brian Lampton

    John Broughton

    Kim McCarthy

    76

    Diane Grendell

    Diane Grendell

    Frank Hall

     

    Garrett Westhoven

    78

     

    Brian Stewart

    Aaron Adams

    Bobby Mitchell

    Charlotte Owens

    88

     

    Gary Click

    Ed Ollom

    Shayne Thomas

    Chris Liebold

    93

    Jason Stephens

    Jason Stephens

    Jeff Halley

     

    96

     

    Ron Ferguson

    Charlie DiPalma

    Rich Olivito

     

    Ohio Senate Candidates
    *Primary election winners in bold

    District Number

    Incumbent

    Candidate(s)

    Republican

    Democrat

    2

    Theresa Gavarone

    Theresa Gavarone

    Joel O’ Dorisio

    Reem Subei

    4

     

    George Lang

    Candice KellerLee Wong

    Kathy Wyenandt

    6

     

    Niraj Antani

    Rachel Selby

    Gregory Robinson

    Albert Griggs Jr.

    Mark Fogel

    14

    Terry Johnson

    Terry Johnson

    David Uible

    Ryan Ottney

    16

    Stephanie Kunze

    Stephanie Kunze

    Crystal Lett

    Mark Logan Bailey

    Troy Doucet

     

    22

     

    Mark Romanchuk

    Ron Falconi

    Michael Reynolds

    Timothy Hoven

    Cory Branham

    Steve Johnson

    26

     

    Bill Reineke

    Melissa Ackison

    Craig Schwartz

    32

    Sean O’Brien

    Sandra O’ Brien

    Kenneth J. Polke

    Sean O’Brien

     

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