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House flips; Mike DeWine is next Ohio Governor

The nation braced for a Democratic blue wave in a historical voter turnout for the Nov. 6 mid term elections, but that sweeping momentum did not take fold here in Ohio.

In the Ohio governor’s race, former President Obama appointee Richard Cordray was expected to turn red to blue, but it was Republican Mike DeWine who extended the Republican Party’s generation stronghold on the governor’s office in the state of Ohio.

DeWine wiped out an early Cordray lead and then rolled in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election, allowing Republicans to continue its stay at governor’s mansion in Columbus for 24 of the last 28 years.

Meanwhile on the national landscape it was another Ohioian, Cleveland native and former U.S. Cabinet secretary Donna Shalala that flipped a Republican House Seat in Florida to Democrat for the first time in decades, eventually propelling the Dems to take control of The House of Representatives.

It's the first foray into elective politics for the 77-year-old Shalala, who was President Bill Clinton's secretary of Health and Human Services throughout the 1990s.

Credit President Trump for the resounding voter turnout across the nation and particularly in Ohio, where his presence on the campaign trail for DeWine was a significant boost for his decisive victory.

Controversial ballot measure, Issue 1, a constitutional amendment that would have reduced penalties for some of the drug crimes, but promoted treatment over incarceration, was soundly defeated.

The measure went down in flames, losing convincingly as 64.9 percent of Ohioans voted against and 47 percent of precincts reporting at press time

It marked the second consecutive election since that a drug measure was defeated. Last year a measure advocating for lower prescription drug prices was hammered to defeat by Ohio voters.

Incumbent Sen. Sherrod Brown, a leading Democratic voice on financial regulation and workers rights, was elected to a third term in Ohio, a crucial presidential battleground state that President Trump carried in 2016.

Brown, the top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, is considered a potential dark-horse candidate for president in 2020, but he has been less active than colleagues such as Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Cory Booker (D-N.J.) when it comes to jockeying for a possible White House bid.

The 65-year-old senator defeated Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio), whose campaign was plagued by controversy over his work as a lobbyist before coming to Congress.

Tuesday’s was a good night for incumbents such as Congress members Marcia Fudge (D-11) and Joyce Beatty (D-3) enjoyed sweeping victories and will be returning to Washington D.C.

It was also a jolly good night for County Executive Armond Budish who gained overwhelming approval to continue his leadership in the county.

Budish slammed Republican challenger Peter Corrigan and was a declared a winner early on with 12 percent of precincts reporting he was leading 67.91 percent to 32.09 percent.

Voters trended to support for three countywide charter amendments: 69.9 percent of voters are in favor of Issue 12, which grants subpoena power to the county inspector general. 76.97 percent of voters are in favor of Issue 10, which clarifies the roles of county agencies managing personnel decisions. 67.78 percent of voters are in favor of Issue 11, which tweaks audit protocols for the county’s internal auditor. Courtney Astolfi

It was an unusually high voter turnout for an off-year election, with at least 475,966 casting ballots - or better than half of the voting-age population in the county - far outdistancing the number of people who voted in recent gubernatorial elections.

The Board of Elections reported shortly after the polls closed that 174,704 had turned in absentee ballots - by mail or in person - and another 301,262 voted on election day.

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