By Matt Reese
Nov. 2 was a momentous day for Republicans as they made great gains at the Federal level and re-gained control of the U.S. House of Representatives. Most political pundits agree that the nation sent a clear message to its legislators that the current course of the federal government needs to be altered.
Few places saw more of a wild swing towards Republicans than the state of Ohio, a well-documented political battleground and an important state for determining the outcome of Presidential elections. In the two key statewide races, Republican John Kasich won a narrow victory for Governor and Republican Rob Portman won George Voinovich’s vacated Senate seat.
“Ohio needs a leader who isn’t afraid of tough decisions, has the strength to take on entrenched interests in both parties and is experienced in delivering the change our state desperately needs,” said Kasich in response to the question, “Why should Ohio’s agricultural community vote for you?” “I’ve done all of that. In Congress, I led the effort to balance the federal budget for the first time in 30 years and worked with leaders from both parties to reform welfare. As a business leader I’ve seen firsthand how CEOs make decisions to create jobs and I’ll put that know-how to work to revive Ohio’s economy. I’ll reduce government spending so we can reduce taxes, and streamline our regulatory system to cut the red tape that just adds new burdens on farmers and small business owners. One big improvement we can make is in research. Our universities and private research facilities must work better with agriculture to find and bring to market new innovations. Our Third Frontier program must focus more on agriculture as well.”
Senator-elect Portman also responded to the same question prior to the election. Here is a portion of his answer.
“Ohio is blessed with fertile farmland and a proud farming tradition. In fact, agriculture is Ohio’s No. 1 industry, providing nearly 1 million jobs. The farming community and our agriculture heritage are an important part of the fabric of the Buckeye State. Ohio’s unemployment is more than 10%, and elected officials at every level should be doing all they can to help the agriculture community grow and prosper. During my 12 years representing seven counties of Southern Ohio in the U.S. Congress that is what I tried to do, and that is why I consistently received the Friend of the Farmer award from the American Farm Bureau. Based on my record and my policy proposals, I have also received the support of the Ohio Farm Bureau in this U.S. Senate race. I am proud to stand with Ohio’s agriculture community. For me, the top issue we face in Ohio is jobs and the economy…That’s why I’ve proposed my Plan to Create Ohio Jobs, which reflects my conversations with Ohioans in every single one of our 88 counties, numerous small business roundtables, visits to farms, talking to workers and management at more than 70 factory visits, and meetings with economic development experts. My plan recognizes that we must get spending under control. Every Ohio farmer understands that you can’t keep spending money you don’t have — but that’s exactly what we have seen in Washington with the failed $800 billion stimulus and the $2.6 trillion big-government health care bill that have helped create record deficits and a dangerous and unprecedented buildup of debt. My plan would also expand exports to help the farmer. One in three farm acres is planted for export, and I believe we should continue to expand markets for our agriculture products. By expanding exports, we can ensure better prices and add jobs. For me, it’s about Ohio’s future. Jane and I want our children and all Ohioans to find opportunity here in the Buckeye State. It’s time to turn things around in Washington and help get Ohio back on track.”
These two leaders were just the tip of a much larger Republican ice berg that slammed into the state and federl government last night. Here is a summary of the 2010 election results compiled by Rocky Black with Ohio Soybean Council. The percentages may still change slightly, but the results are fairly certain.
Ohio Statewide Races
Governor: John Kasich (R) defeats current Democrat Gov. Ted Strickland 49%-47%.
U.S. Senate Rob Portman (R) defeats Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher 57%-39%.
Attorney General: Mike DeWine (R) defeats current A.G. Richard Cordray (D) 48%-46%.
Auditor: David Yost (R) defeats David Pepper (D) 51%-44%.
Secretary of State: Jon Husted (R) defeats Maryellen O’Shaughnessy 55%-41%.
Treasurer: Josh Mandel (R) defeats current Treasurer Kevin Boyce 55%-41%.
Ohio Supreme Court
There will be no change in the composition of the court with 3 Justices returning to the bench. Justice Maureen O’Connor will become the first woman Chief Justice in the high court’s 207-year history, and Justices Judith Lanzinger and Paul Pfeifer were elected to new, six-year terms.
Republicans increased their majority by two seats to 23-10 (was 21-12) by defeating incumbent Democrats Fred Strahorn (Dayton) and Sue Morano (Lorain).
Going into the election Republicans trailed House Democrats by seven (7) seats, at 53-46. Republicans picked up twelve seats (12) to take the majority at 58-41, and their margin could go higher due to razor thin losses in two districts. (133 votes in the 20th district held by Rep. Garland; Rep. Pillich, 28th district, clung to a five-vote lead in the 28th District.)
Ohio Congressional Races–
Ohio’s Congressional delegation will go from its current 10 Democrats and 8 Republicans to 13 Republicans and 5 Democrats. Republicans picked up five (5) congressional seats from Democrats yesterday, as these current Members were defeated: John Boccieri (16th district), Zach Space (18th district), Steve Dreihaus (1st district), Charlie Wilson (6th district) and Mary Jo Kilroy (15th district).