COLUMBUS — Ohio House Speaker Armond Budish says his Democratic Party has lost the majority in the House after two years of being in power.
The shift of the House puts Republicans in charge of the Ohio Legislature. The GOP already has a Senate majority.
All 99 seats in the House were up for election on Tuesday. In local Ohio House races, Republicans Dave Hall, 97th District, and William Batchelder, 69th District, easily held onto their seats.
Republicans capitalized on a weak economy and intensity among their base of voters. The party was outraised and outspent by House Democrats in the campaign.
The House GOP had previously been in power for 14 years. They lost control in 2008 as Democrats were boosted by voter support for President Barack Obama.
In a statement before all the results were in, Budish says he called the House Republican leader to congratulate him.
Portman keeps Senate seat in GOP
COLUMBUS — Republican Rob Portman, a former Ohio congressman and a veteran of former President George W. Bush’s White House, easily won the state’s open U.S. Senate seat Tuesday, keeping it in Republican hands.
Portman brushed aside criticism over his close ties to Bush and capitalized on the state’s angst over its depressing economy, coasting to a victory over Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher in a race that that some Democrats gave up on months ago.
“This is a moment of truth and a moment of opportunity,” Portman said in his victory speech, saying Democrats have abused their power.
“The truth is they’ve expanded the reach, the power, the fiscal responsibilities of government beyond what the people asked for or expected,” Portman said. “The opportunity for all of us is to change directions, and to work together to bring back the investments, the growth, and the jobs.”
Democrats had hoped that the retirement of two-term Republican Sen. George Voinovich would give them one of their best chances of gaining a GOP seat. But Fisher’s campaign sputtered following the state’s Democratic primary and couldn’t match Portman campaign’s fundraising machine.
Portman will bring an impressive resume to Washington that includes stints as Bush’s budget director and trade ambassador.
Not well-known outside his home base of Cincinnati, Portman spent the first half of his campaign traveling to every county in the state in a camper while amassing a huge fundraising advantage.
Yost to become next state auditor
COLUMBUS — Republican David Yost has defeated his well-funded Democratic opponent to become the next Ohio auditor.
Yost kept the office Republican by defeating Democrat David Pepper, a Hamilton County commissioner and son of a former Procter & Gamble Co. chief executive.
Yost’s victory means a seat on the state’s powerful apportionment board, which will draw state legislative districts next year. The party with the most seats on the five-member board can craft the districts to its own advantage.
Yost — a prosecutor and former auditor in Delaware County — will fill the office being vacated by Republican Mary Taylor, who dropped her re-election bid to run for lieutenant governor.