It was a good night for Ohio Republicans as they executed a clean sweep in every statewide executive office as well as every seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. The race for Governor DeWine was called moments after the polls closed on Tuesday. DeWine easily defeated former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who struggled with fundraising and messaging since winning the May primary.
On the Ohio Supreme County, Justices Pat Fischer and Pat DeWine were easily re-elected. Justice Sharon Kennedy was elected Chief Justice, meaning Governor DeWine will appoint another conservative Justice to the court. Last year, the Ohio General Assembly added party affiliation to Supreme Court and Court of Appeals candidates, giving voters a more informed choice of judicial candidates.
As Chief Justice, Kennedy has pledged to investigate why local courts aren’t hearing and resolving cases on a timely basis and promised to bring more transparency to court operations and records.
In local results, State Representative Brian Baldridge cruised to re-election with a 51-point victory. He defeated Andrew Dotson of Scioto County, 75%-24%. In addition, Kelly Jones was running unopposed in the race for County Commissioner and will take office in January.
In the race to watch locally, incumbent Brett Spencer retained his seat by a small margin. Out of over 8,600 votes cast, Spencer was victorious by just over 300 votes – making it one of the closest races in modern times. The unofficial count was 4,493 to 4,178. The Republican Party had hoped to defeat Spencer, citing numerous issues of his stewardship of the office during the election. While Ohio law identifies party affiliation on the ballot of Judicial candidates for the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals, it does not for county-level courts. In a statement provided to the Informer on Friday, Republicans said this, “We always knew that defeating an incumbent Judge was a difficult, but not an impossible task. We are confident that had party affiliation been on the ballot in this race, the result would have been different, however, we are grateful for the courage and commitment of Commissioner Moore to be the Republican candidate and are pleased that her service to the people of Adams County will continue. We wish Mr. Spencer all the best in his next term.”
Also locally, the Mi Camino Restaurant was approved to sell alcohol. In addition, State Issues one and two were easily passed.