Section: News

Trump takes Ohio, Democrats flip Ohio Supreme Court seat

Trump takes Ohio, Democrats flip Ohio Supreme Court seat

COURTESY OF SHEA HUMPHRIES

As the nation waits for ballots to be counted and the most competitive races of the election cycle to be called, Ohioans are digesting their state’s latest results. 

President Donald J. Trump won Ohio’s 18 electoral votes by a margin of 8.2%, according to the Associated Press. According to the New York Times, Trump took 71.1% of votes in Knox County, and Vice President Joseph R. Biden took 27.5%. This is a more decisive win in the state for Trump compared to the 2016 presidential election, when he got 66.1% of the votes and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton got 28.5%. As of Thursday afternoon, however, it was still unclear who will take the presidency in January. 

This delay comes on the heels of what the Washington Post says is the largest influx of absentee ballots the nation has ever seen — amid the COVID-19 pandemic and a shortage in funding for the United States Postal Service. Though the spike in absentee ballots has not significantly impacted Ohio’s results — as an issue with nearly 50,000 incorrect Franklin County absentee ballots was resolved last month — other states are not faring as well. Several battleground states still have votes that need to be counted, including Nevada, Georgia and Pennsylvania. When results will be final is still unclear, although, according to the Washington Post, Nevada state officials said they expected to have results by Thursday at 12 noon EST. 

Among the most significant of the state’s elections were two Ohio Supreme Court seats up for grabs. Democratic candidates Judge John O’Donnell and former Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner squared off against incumbent Republican Justices Judi French and Sharon Kennedy, respectively. Though O’Donnell’s 10-point loss to Kennedy was a disappointment for Ohio Democrats, the party still has something to smile about: Brunner’s victory shifts the party balance of the Court from a 5-2 Republican majority to a thin 4-3.

Brunner was quite pleased with her Tuesday night victory. “It’s been 10 years since I ran statewide. I didn’t realize I had that much shelf life,” she told Dispatch reporters. She added that she looks forward to working to unite the narrowly divided court. “Things get done best when there is a collegial relationship between the justices, and I intend to work hard to make that happen to ensure we have good decisions for the people of Ohio,” she said.

In the Ohio Congress, 16 out of 33 seats were up for election in the State Senate, while all 99 seats were up for grabs in the State House, according to Ballotpedia. Republicans maintained their stronghold in both chambers, winning 61 to 38 seats in the House and 24 to 9 in the Senate, Ballotpedia reported. According to ColumbusUnderground, three seats in the House flipped from Democrat to Republican, all of which are located in “Appalachian Ohio.” 

Notably, the Republican former Speaker of the House Larry Householder also won re-election, despite being embroiled in a multi-million dollar scandal earlier this year that resulted in his removal from the position of House Speaker, the Toledo Blade reports. 

In Knox County, Representative Bob Gibbs won re-election to Ohio’s 7th Congressional District on Tuesday. His Democratic opponent, Quentin Potter, managed only 29.2% of the vote. Potter was not on the ballot during the primary election, but garnered enough write-in votes to earn a spot on the ballot in the general election. Although the district has been red for quite some time, Potter gained significantly less support than Gibbs’ last Democratic contender, Ken Harbaugh, who picked up 41.3% of the vote in the 2018 midterms, according to Ballotpedia. Gibbs will start his sixth term in the United States House of Representatives in January.

In Gambier, the College Township voted for a tax levy to support the College Township Fire Department. The levy passed with the support of 81.7% of voters, Knox Pages reports. The passage of the levy comes after the Gambier Village Council unanimously voted to release a statement in support of the levy last month.

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