Ohio voters will be key in many ways
Party control of the U.S. Senate and House are in play, as is the balance of the Ohio Supreme Court .
By Jim Gaines - Staff Writer


As election results come in Tuesday, there will be plenty of important things to watch for. Here are six on which Ohio voters will have a great impact — both nationally and for their hometowns.

U.S. Senate The race between Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland Twp. and Republican businessman J.D. Vance of Cincinnati is among a handful of contests, along with Arizona, Georgia and Pennsylvania, that will determine which party controls the Senate.

Democrats hold both the House and Senate, but narrowly; and the party in power traditionally loses seats in midterm elections. The Senate is split 50-50, with Democrats in control only because Vice President Kamala Harris casts the tie-breaking vote.

So this election has ramifications for federal legislation on countless issues, such as the hot-button issue of abortion.

At a Nov. 1 town hall sponsored by Fox News, Vance said states should decide on abortion limits but that he also supports a Republican proposal to ban abortion nationwide at a minimum of 15 weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest and the health of the mother. Ryan called to federally codify abortion rights until the beginning of the third trimester and after that to save the life or health of the mother.

Governor’s race For the first time, both major-party candidates for governor are from the Dayton region instead of hailing from the major metros of Cincinnati, Columbus or Cleveland. Democratic candidate Nan Whaley is the immediate former mayor of Dayton, and incumbent Republican Gov. Mike DeWine is a resident of Cedarville.

DeWine said he’s named people from this region to high-level posts in his administration and done things to improve circumstances for veterans, current military personnel and their families.

Ohio’s largest military installation is Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

He said the Dayton area would see “more of the same” in a second fouryear term.

Whaley said during campaign stops in small towns she saw more similarities to Dayton than to larger cities.

“Dayton is similar to many other parts of the state that feel forgotten and ignored,” she said.

Ohio Supreme Court The three Ohio Supreme Court seats up for election this year could change the balance of the court as it prepares to deal with abortion laws, legislative redistricting and other major issues.

One of those seats is chief justice. Maureen O’Connor is ineligible to run again due to age limits, so her position is being sought by two current justices: Democrat Jennifer Brunner and Republican Sharon Kennedy. When a current justice wins the chief justiceship, the governor can appoint a replacement to fill the winner’s former seat.

The other two seats in contention are held by Justice Pat DeWine and Justice Pat Fischer. Both are seeking a second term, opposed by Democratic First District Court of Appeals Judge Marilyn Zayas and Tenth District Court of Appeals Judge Terri Jamison, respectively.

Justices serve six-year terms. All three seats currently available are now held by Republicans. One Republican-held seat and the three Democratic-held seats are not open this year.

For the first time, in this election the candidates’ party affiliation will appear next to their names on the ballot.

Statehouse races District maps for state House and Senate are only valid for this election cycle, per an Ohio Supreme Court ruling, and will have to be redrawn before the 2024 campaign. But the current set of maps, drawn in response to 2020 U.S. Census results, has already shifted district lines and in some cases the political balance.

Leronda Jackson of Englewood is challenging Rep. Phil Plummer of Butler Twp. for the second time, in a contest that will be more equal under new district lines. Jackson, a Democrat, lost heavily to Plummer two years ago in the 40th District, which was solidly Republican. Plummer now must run in the redrawn 39th District — which slightly favors Democrats. The 39th covers communities in western and northwestern Montgomery County, including Trotwood, Englewood, Vandalia, Brookville, West Carrollton, New Lebanon, Farmersville and Drexel.

Kettering Republican Rep.

Andrea White is seeking a second term in the Ohio House, challenged by Democrat Addison Caruso of Oakwood.

A third candidate, John Biller of Kettering, will not appear on the ballot, but has been approved as a write-in candidate.

White has spent two years representing the 41st District, but under new district maps she’s running in the 36th District, which includes Kettering, Oakwood, and parts of Dayton, Jefferson Twp. and Moraine.

One state Senate and four state House seats in the region have candidates running unopposed. Four of those are held by incumbents: State Sen. Steve Huffman and Reps. Willis Blackshear, Jena Powell and Tom Young. The only newcomer is Tim Barhorst, Republican candidate in House District 85.

Control of Congress The map of U.S. House districts, like the state legislative maps, has to be redrawn before the 2024 election — and for the same reason: The Ohio Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutionally favors Republicans.

But also like the state legislative maps, the rejected U.S. House map is in force for this election cycle due to time constraints. And results from its districts, altered by census results from their decade-old configuration, may have nationwide impact.

Just north of the Miami Valley, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Urbana faces Tamie Wilson of Delaware for the District 4 seat. If re-elected Jordan, in Congress since 2007, will wield considerable influence if Republicans take control of the House.

To the south lies a reconfigured District 1, now represented by Steve Chabot of Cincinnati. He has served in Congress from 1995 to 2009 and 2011 to present.

His challenger is Greg Landsman, a member of Cincinnati City Council since 2018.

District 1 covers Warren County, plus eastern and much of central Hamilton County, making it “closely competitive” — Warren is heavily Republican, while Hamilton is strongly Democratic.

Local levies More than candidates are on the ballot. Voters throughout the area will see a variety of tax levies — some new, some renewals; some increases, some replacements — for cities, townships and schools.

In Montgomery County those include an additional 5.99 mills of property tax for the Kettering school district and a 0.5% income tax increase in the city of Trotwood to pay for road work.

The Miami Valley Fire District is asking for 11 mills from Miamisburg and Miami Twp. to make the district self-reliant.

The measure would eliminate all existing fire-related tax levies in the city and township and replace them with the new rate.

The village of New Miami is hoping voters reconsider a 5-mill levy for police that they rejected last year, and renew a 2-mill fire levy.

In Greene County, Beavercreek voters are asked for an additional 2.5-mill levy to expand the police department, and 2.15 mills for better street maintenance.

Many other jurisdictions have 1- or 2-mill levies on the ballot to support fire services, road work or libraries.

Contact this reporter at 614- 980-7588 or email james.gaines@coxinc.com.



■ Early voting at Board of Elections offices is Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. and Monday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. On Election Day, vote at your local polling site from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.

■ To find your polling location, go online to https://elections. bcohio.gov.


■ Monday: Absentee ballots must be postmarked by this date.

■ Tuesday: Absentee ballots returned by a method other than U.S. mail must arrive by the time polls close.

■ Nov. 18: Absentee ballots returned by mail must be received by boards of election.

So must overseas and military ballots.


■ Voter’s Guide: To read answers from the candidates, visit daytondailynews.com/ list/voter-guide. The top link at that page also includes howto-vote resources.

■Daily coverage: For everything from tax levy explainers to what’s on the ballot in your county to ongoing political event coverage, visit daytondailynews.com/elections