Former US Rep. Jim Renacci (R), who held Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) to a 53-47% win in 2018, again made statements suggesting he will soon launch a primary campaign effort against Gov. Mike DeWine (R). Mr. Renacci was quoted on Twitter saying, "I will be either supporting candidates who are taking [Gov DeWine] on or running against him myself."
The Governor has come under fire in Republican circles for his strong anti-COVID economic shutdown measures. Therefore, whether Mr. Renacci eventually enters the race remains a question, but it does appear that Gov. DeWine is likely to face GOP primary opposition in 2022.
Just after President-Elect Joe Biden announced that he will nominate Ohio US Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Warrensville Heights/Cleveland) as the Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary, two Democrats announced their campaigns to replace her in the US House. Cuyahoga County Commissioner and local Democratic Party chair Shontel Brown and former state Senator and Bernie Sanders for President national co-chair Nina Turner are the first to begin forming the Democratic special election candidate field.
President-Elect Joe Biden announced that he will nominate Ohio US Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Warrensville Heights/Cleveland) as the Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary. This means another member will resign from the House in order to accept a new position. Previously, Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) announced that he will resign before January 20th in order to head the Office of Public Engagement at the White House.
Like the LA-2 district, the OH-11 seat that stretches from downtown Cleveland to downtown Akron is safely Democratic. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) will be tasked with scheduling a special election upon Ms. Fudge’s official resignation.
Fresh from another tough re-election victory (52-45%) in his Cincinnati anchored congressional district and from a state facing losing a district in reapportionment, veteran Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati) yesterday announced that he will run for re-election in 2022. Ten years ago, after losing the seat for a term before winning in a 2010 re-match, the 1st District was improved for him, but it has become a highly competitive seat. It remains to be seen how southwestern Ohio will politically evolve in the next redistricting cycle.
Gov. Mike DeWine (R), who was one of the most aggressive Governors in the country during the original pandemic shutdown phase, is under attack from the Republican base to the point where he may draw a serious primary challenge in two years. Former US Representative and 2018 US Senate nominee Jim Renacci (R) is said to be making moves to develop a campaign to challenge Gov. DeWine in the 2022 Republican primary. If this race materializes, it will be a serious challenge and one worth watching.
In what appears to be a veiled attempt to keep his Youngstown anchored congressional seat intact in the face of Ohio losing another seat in the next reapportionment, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Warren) announced yesterday that he will not challenge Gov. Mike DeWine (R) or Sen. Rob Portman (R) next year and is not looking for a Biden Administration appointment. Mr. Ryan was briefly in the 2020 presidential race but dropped out when it became apparent that his national campaign had no political legs.
He further signaled that he would remain in the House assuming the Republicans do not eliminate his seat in the next redistricting. Republicans will be in full control of congressional redistricting and will decide which seat is eliminated from the 16-member delegation when reapportionment reduces the state to 15 districts.
It is more likely that the loss will come from the Republican side, however, since it would be difficult to eliminate one of the Democratic seats since the latter party currently controls only four. Taking a Democratic seat would likely make several Republican seats vulnerable in a general election, so it is probable they will eliminate a GOP district in order to keep an 11-4 split in their favor.
Change Research reports conducting a series of online polls from Oct. 29 through Nov. 2 in various congressional districts. They are showing virtual tie scores in several toss-up districts heading into today’s voting:
AR-2: Rep. French Hill (R) vs. St. Sen. Joyce Elliott (D)
IN-5: Ex-St. Rep. Christina Hale (D) vs. St. Sen. Victoria Spartz (R)
MO-2: Rep. Ann Wagner (R) vs. St. Sen. Jill Schupp (D)
NE-2: Rep. Don Bacon (R) vs. Kara Eastman (D)
NY-24: Rep. John Katko (R) vs. Dana Balter (D)
OH-1: Rep. Steve Chabot (R) vs. Kate Schroder (D)
OK-5: Rep. Kendra Horn (D) vs. St. Sen. Stephanie Bice (R)
Ohio’s 12th District produced both a very tight special and general election in the 2018 election cycle, both in favor of Rep. Troy Balderson (R-Zanesville). The 2020 race hasn’t attracted much national attention, but a new Public Policy Polling survey (10/14-15; 818 OH-12 registered voters; interactive response system) finds the Congressman holding only a 48-44% edge over Democratic nominee Alaina Schearer, a marketing firm CEO.
Every election year, campaigns that don’t receive a lot of national attention often become competitive races. In the Dayton area, veteran Rep. Mike Turner (R-Dayton) finds himself only leading law school graduate Desiree Tims (D), 49-45% according to a Garin Hart Yang Research Group poll for the Tims campaign (10/15-18; 400 OH-10 likely voters; live interview). Both candidates had raised approximately $1.5 million through September 30th.
The Ohio legislature is sending Gov. Mike DeWine (R) a bill that will curtail his legal authority over elections. The bill, passed on party line votes, would require legislative approval to change election procedures. It is a unique situation to see a Governor’s party lining up wholly against him on an issue, while the opposition party is wholly in support of the state chief executive regarding his election authority.
In March, Gov. DeWine unilaterally canceled the state primary, moving it three months in the future as a COVID-19 response. The pending legislation, if law at that time, would have required the Governor to obtain legislative approval for making such a move. It is probable the Republicans will have enough strength to override a veto if Mr. DeWine ultimately rejects the proposal.
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