COLUMBUS (AP) — Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine has won the Republican primary for governor, sending one of the state’s best-known politicians into the fall contest to succeed term-limited Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik).
DeWine’s victory Tuesday leaves him damaged from a bitter and nasty primary in which Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor likened him to Democrats Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton and questioned his loyalty to President Donald Trump.
The 71-year-old DeWine is a moderate Republican who served two terms in the U.S. Senate. But Taylor forced him to tack to the right to win the GOP nomination.
DeWine was endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party and was bolstered by his partnership with Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted (HYOO’-sted), who dropped his own governor bid to become DeWine’s running mate.
Cordray wins Democratic governor’s bid
Obama-era consumer agency head Richard Cordray has won the Democratic nomination for Ohio governor despite a surprisingly rigorous challenge from former U.S. Rep. Dennis Kucinich (koo-SIH’-nich).
Tuesday’s win by the former consumer watchdog under President Barack Obama buoys Democratic hopes of reclaiming control of a critical battleground state, where Republican Gov. John Kasich (KAY’-sik) is term-limited.
Cordray led the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under Obama and President Donald Trump. He featured Obama in his ads and campaigned with Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who created the bureau.
Kucinich is a feisty former nine-term congressman and Cleveland mayor who energized voters with an anti-gun, pro-environment platform. He attacked Cordray as an “establishment Democrat” willing to compromise his principles to special interests.
A state senator and a former Ohio Supreme Court justice also competed.
Voters OK map-making rules
Ohio voters have overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment that will change the way the battleground state draws congressional districts.
Issue 1 on state ballots Tuesday had support from both Democrats and Republicans and faced virtually no organized opposition.
The proposal was modeled after new map-making rules for Ohio legislative districts that voters strongly supported in 2016.
The latest proposal aims to curb gerrymandering, the partisan manipulation of political boundaries that’s seen as a cause of partisanship, gridlock and incivility in Washington.
The amendment limits how counties are split into multiple districts and requires more support from the minority party to put a 10-year map in place.
If lawmakers can’t agree, an existing bipartisan commission will take over. If that fails, the majority party can pass a shorter-term map.
Trump-backed Renacci wins primary to face Sen. Sherrod Brown
U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, bolstered by the backing of President Donald Trump, won Tuesday’s Republican primary to challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown in Ohio this fall.
Renacci, 59, is in his fourth term in Congress and is a longtime businessman and former mayor of Wadsworth. He left the governor’s race to campaign for Senate and emerged victorious in a five-way contest.
Also in the race were Cleveland investment banker Mike Gibbons, Marysville small-business owner Melissa Ackison, Cincinnati-area financial management company founder Daniel Kiley, and retired public administrator Don Elijah Eckhart, of Galloway.
Renacci said he switched to the Senate race with White House encouragement after Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel withdrew because of his wife’s health. Mandel had lost to Brown in 2012, after Brown unseated then-Sen. Mike DeWine in 2006. Brown was unopposed Tuesday for the Democratic nomination.
Brown, 65, is a former congressman and Ohio secretary of state. He has long fashioned himself as a champion of the working class and taken tough-on-trade positions. He praised Trump’s move this year to increase tariffs on imported steel and aluminum.
Brown’s career in Ohio politics spans four decades.
Renacci featured Trump prominently in his campaign ads, with the president praising Renacci during Ohio visits and endorsing him by tweet last month. Trump posted that he needed Renacci “very badly to help our agenda” and said he “has my full endorsement!”
Gibbons, who raised money for Trump’s presidential campaign and was endorsed by Citizens for Trump, depicted himself as the “conservative outsider” in the race, running a campaign ad showing Trump and pledging to help the president “drain the swamp.”
Gibbons, 66, last week sued Renacci for what he calls false and defamatory statements including that Gibbons is anti-Trump. Renacci’s campaign spokeswoman discounted that lawsuit as “sad and desperate.”
Renacci’s run for Senate opened his 16th District seat, spurring primaries for both major political parties.