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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.

Ohio Republicans Get a Statewide Executive Office Sweep

Photo of Mike DeWine
Mike DeWine during election night

The Ohio Republicans swept the statewide office races in yesterday’s election — carried by a big victory from Mike DeWine who beat Democrat Rich Cordray for the governor’s office. While the Democrats did have some major wins, the Republicans said the night belonged to them.

“I will be excited to work with the DeWine/Husted administration," State Sen. Frank LaRose said. 

One by one, Republicans took the stage in downtown Columbus to claim victory in their statewide race.

LaRose said becoming the next Secretary of State brings a unique challenge.

“This is the one office that safeguards two things that are really fundamental to our way of life. Free markets and fair elections are among the most precious things we have," LaRose said.

LaRose was part of a five-office sweep of the statewide executive races. Representative Robert Sprague won the treasurer’s race, while fellow Representative Keith Faber will be Ohio’s next auditor.

Ohio’s current auditor, Dave Yost, who won the attorney general’s race, made what became a repeated statement of the night.

“Tonight belongs to the Republicans," Yost said. 

It all started at the top of the ticket with Mike DeWine winning the governor’s race against his Democratic opponent Rich Cordray. Since Donald Trump won the presidential race in 2016 there was a lot of talk about a possible momentum shift in the Democrats’ favor. And even the day before the election, several polls and analysts were projecting a narrow win for Cordray.

But as DeWine’s running mate, Jon Husted, put it: “I guess Ohio is still a Republican state.”

As DeWine took to the stage he delivered a message of unity, commending Cordray’s character, and calling on Republicans and Democrats to work together.

“Our challenges are not solvable just by one party, they’re not solvable by one person, they’re solvable by all of us pulling together, and working together and that is my commitment to each and every one of you," DeWine said.

While DeWine calls for unity, the results of the election clearly show that Republicans have a stronghold in Ohio. Mark Weaver, a Republican strategist, says despite some statewide victories, including U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown’s re-election bid, it seems to be even harder than before to win as a Democrat in Ohio.

“Ohio is becoming redder all the time. We used to be the swing state, the purple state, the bellwether state, we saw in 2016 that the presidential race wasn’t close here and tonight it tells us that Ohio is firmly red," Weaver said.

Weaver said the results of this election clearly shows that Trump could win in Ohio again in 2020.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.