The results of Ohio’s May 3 primary for the 2022 midterm elections were announced late Tuesday night. Governor Mike DeWine won the Republican gubernatorial challenge, while former venture capitalist and author J.D. Vance won the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.
Tuesday’s primary follows a complicated redistricting process in Ohio. In January, the Ohio Supreme Court threw out the Congressional map proposed by the GOP-led Ohio Redistricting Commission in late December, arguing that it unduly favored Republicans. That map gave Republicans a 12-3 advantage in Congress, violating the proportionality standard set in the Ohio Constitution which mandates that districts be drawn in conjunction with Ohioans’ voting preferences. In early March, the Commission approved a second map, which only slightly altered the original version to give Republicans a 10-5 advantage over Democrats in U.S. House seats.
The first of the results released Tuesday evening were for the gubernatorial race. DeWine beat out Republican hopefuls Joe Blystone and Jim Renacci with 48% of the vote. Nan Whaley, the Democratic candidate, made history last night when she became the first woman in Ohio’s history to win the Democratic nomination for governor, garnering 65% of the vote. She will face off against DeWine in November.
In the crowded race for Republican Senator Rob Portman’s soon-to-be-vacated Senate seat, Tim Ryan, who represents Ohio’s 13th district in Congress, won the Democratic primary with almost 70% of the vote. On the Republican side, Vance, who was handpicked by former President Donald Trump, won the nomination with just 32% of the vote. After his victory last night, Vance joined the league of over 20 Trump-endorsed candidates who won their races during Tuesday’s primary.
Professor of Political Science Nancy Powers noted that, although Vance won the Republican nomination, he may not have been the preferred candidate for most Ohioans. “Contests with several competitive candidates and first-past-the-post rules often yield winners who were not the preferred choice of most voters,” she wrote in a message to the Collegian. “JD Vance won handily, but with only 32% of the vote. That means nearly 7 of 10 GOP voters preferred someone else.”
In addition to the tenuous Senate and gubernatorial races, all of Ohio’s 15 U.S. House seats were on Tuesday night’s ballot. U.S. Representatives for the 11th and 9th districts, Shontel Brown and Marcy Kaptur, respectively — both Democrats — won their key primary races last night. Kaptur, a subcommittee chairwoman on the House Appropriations Committee who has represented Ohio since 1983, will be facing off this fall in a contentious race for a newly-redistricted, Republican-leaning seat against J.R. Majewski, an Air Force veteran with links to QAnon.
Ohio State House Minority Leader Emilia Strong Sykes was successful in her bid to succeed Tim Ryan for his U.S. House seat in the newly-redrawn 6th district. She too will face strong Republican opposition. In November, she will face Trump-backed Attorney Madison Gesiotto Gilbert.
The 2022 midterm election will take place on Nov. 8.