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2018 was a big election year in Ohio. Republicans held onto all five statewide executive offices including governor and super majorities in both the Ohio House and Senate. But there were a few bright spots for Democrats, among them the reelection of U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown and the election of two Democrats to the Ohio Supreme Court.With election 2018 over, the focus now shifts to governing. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

Crowd of 500 Turns Out for 7th Congressional District Debate

photo of Ken Harbaugh
Democrat Ken Harbaugh is challenging incumbent Republican Bob Gibbs in Ohio's 7th congressional district

At the only debate in Ohio’s 7th Congressional District race, the candidates collided on the expected issues: healthcare, tax cuts and national security. But the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting also came up. 

More than 500 people attended the hour-long debate Monday night at Ashland university between Republican Congressman Bob Gibbs and his Democratic challenger, Ken Harbaugh. And while Harbaugh clearly had the advantage in the number of supporters, Gibbs’ faction was the most vocal -- until his closing. Gibbs told voters to ask themselves if they’re better off than they were two years ago. He was interrupted by Harbaugh’s reference to the weekend’s shootings.

”America is safer. I think the answer is yes," Gibbs said as some in the audience booed. Harbaugh interjected saying "Pittsburgh." Gibbs turned to Harbaugh and said, "Keep your supporters in line here." 

Harbaugh accused Gibbs of repeatedly voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act, eliminating coverage for pre-existing conditions. Gibbs said competition will lower health-care costs.

M.L. Schultze is a freelance journalist. She spent 25 years at The Repository in Canton where she was managing editor for nearly a decade, then served as WKSU's news director and digital editor until her retirement.