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Mostly Good News For Ohio GOP, Mostly Bad News For Democrats In 2020 Vote

Karen Kasler

Election Night 2020 was a bad night for Democrats and brought wins for Republicans on Ohio’s Capitol Square. But there were two races with a split decision.

UPDATE: Democrat Monique Smith is leading Rep. Dave Greenspan (R-Westlake) by 1.76% in unofficial results. And Democrats say they''ll be watching for outstanding provisional and absentee ballots in the apparent 41-vote win by Sen. Stephanie Kunze (R-Hilliard) over Democrat Crystal Lett.

In unofficial results reported by the Secretary of State's office, Democrat Jennifer Brunner beat Republican Justice Judi French, giving Democrats three seats on the Ohio Supreme Court for the first time since 1993. Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy won the other race, defeating Democrat John O’Donnell.

Republicans who lost five Ohio House districts overall in 2018could pick up four this time – winning two Democratic seats that were open, and late results show Republican Gail Pavliga leading first-term Democrat Randi Clites and Republican Mike Loychik beating incumbent Gil Blair of Niles, in an area that went solidly for President Trump in 2016. Trump's performance in the Mahoning Valley was even stronger this time, as he won Mahoning County, which Hillary Clinton won four years ago.

And in the Senate, incumbent Democrat Sean O’Brien lost to Republican Sandra O’Brien. She had run for treasurer in 2018, but lost in the GOP primary to Robert Sprague. She challenged Jon Husted in the Republican primary for Secretary of State in 2010.

With that win, Republicans now dominate in the Senate 25-8. The GOP's supermajority strengthens in the House with 63 Republicans and 36 Democrats.

And one notable but unsurprising result: former Speaker Larry Householder, who was ousted from leadership in July after his arrest on federal corruption charges in an alleged pay-to-play scheme involving the nuclear bailout law he championed, was re-elected. He faced a field of write-in candidates who joined the race after his arrest.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at
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