The November elections have finally come and gone! Well, almost! We are still waiting on some of the dust to settle in the presidential race, as there are still a few states that are too close to call, and still counting absentee ballots. It still may take a few more days, if not weeks, to declare a presidential winner. Only time will tell on that race.
However, at this point, this is what we do know – the winners and losers in all the other races – from U.S. Congress, to the Ohio Statehouse and the Ohio Supreme Court. In Ohio, all precincts have reported and here are some of the unofficial results:
President: President Trump did win Ohio, 53.4% to 45.2%, a margin similar to his 2016 election. As far as who won the U.S. Electoral College, that is still pending – To Be Determined.
U.S. Congressional Delegation: No surprises. All 16 incumbent U.S. Representatives from Ohio secured re-election. At this point it appears the Democrats in the U.S. House will retain Control in DC, while the Republicans likely appear to retain control in the Senate as well, by a slim margin.
Statewide Offices: None were up for reelection, except the Ohio Supreme Court.
Ohio Supreme Court: Two of seven Justices who are favored by the business community were up for reelection, Justices Judi French and Sharon Kennedy. French lost her race to Jennifer Brunner, a former Oho Secretary of State. Kennedy retained her seat. The Court’s conservative approach will now have a narrow 4-3 majority, down from a 7-0 majority before the election 2 years ago.
Ohio House: Republicans will retain control of the House. In spite of the recent scandal involving the Republican Speaker of the House, the House Republican’s increased its supermajority by adding 4 more seats. There are still a couple seats that remain “To Close to Call”. Therefore, the Republican’s majority going forward now will be 65 seats to the Democrats 34 seats.
Ohio Senate: The Republicans will easily retain control of the Senate and may even increase its total. At this point the Republicans appear to have gained 1 additional seat, taking their supermajority from 24 seats to now 25 seats compared to the Democrats 8 seats, going forward. Incumbent, Senator Sean O’Brien (D) lost his re-election to challenger, Sandra O’Brien (R). Also, Incumbent Senator Stephanie Kunze’s (R) race for re-election is not yet decided, but she currently leads with 41 more votes over her challenger, Crystal Lett (D).
Turnout Comparison with 2016: Based on unofficial counts, Ohio had 212,000 more registered voters in 2020, than 2016. However, the turnout percentage inched up only slightly, from 71.3% in 2016, to 72% in 2020, reflecting that 204,000 more folks voted than 2016. But, anger did not draw anymore of other registered voters to the ballot box than in 2016.
One very interesting note to mention. Surprisingly, former House Speaker, Larry Householder (R), won his re-election bid to his House seat, despite being indicted on numerous felony racketeering and bribery allegations – possibly facing 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Householder has plead not guilty. However, two of his fellow colleagues that were also indicted in the same scheme, plead guilty last week, as they took a plea bargain deal. If Householder is found guilty, he will have to resign his seat, as no one can serve in public office with a felony conviction. His colleagues might expel him early next year, but that remains to be seen.
It has a been an extremely busy time over the past several months for the Legislature, from all the candidates back home in their districts campaigning and then coming back and forth to Columbus a few times responding to priority legislation relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, allocating the CARES Acts funding, and other important legislation, as well. So, with the elections behind us now, for the most part, our legislative leaders can now get back to work.
In conclusion, the Ohio General Assembly will return next week for the much anticipated “Lame Duck” session to wrap up their legislative work through mid-December. The current legislative session concludes at the end of the year, December 31st. Some Lame Duck priorities may be regarding the HB 6 energy repeal and replace issue, some type of gun reform, potential education reform, the Broadband bill, a Capital Budget, and sports betting, to name a few. Although, the Legislature and Governor may disagree on some of these priorities and might put them off until next year. The Lame Duck session should prove to be very interesting and hectic, to say the least. It always is! And then we start all over again in January for a brand new General Assembly….and then it’s Budget season!
In the meantime, if you have any questions or if we can be of any assistance during this time, please feel free to contact our team. If you would like more information about this Buzz, please contact Rich Bitonte, Dan Dodd or Tom Zaino at 614-782-1440 or www.zhfconsulting.com. Thank you.