Ohio Primary Previews
US Senate (Democratic Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Senator Sherrod Brown is unopposed.
A large Republican Primary is essentially down to two main contenders to challenge Brown. US Representative Jim Renacci is the main favorite, having entered the day 14–15 points ahead of investment banker Mike Gibbons, who is backed by Governor John Kasich and other Ohio moderates. Much of this is in reaction to the often Trumpian nature of Renacci, who some view as too conservative to be a strong challenger to Brown. However, the majority of the base in this primary will be behind Renacci making him the likely winner.
Ohio Gubernatorial Election (Republican Defense, Incumbent Not Running)
Two main contenders stand out in the Democratic primary. Richard Cordray, a former Attorney General who won twice statewide before losing in 2010, is the overwhelming favorite, and only really faces one strong challenge. That challenge is from a familiar name from the past in former US Representative Dennis Kucinich. Kucinich is known for his populist left stances, but despite some support from local progressives, he has received a lot criticism for praising Donald Trump on occasions, which won’t help anyone win a Democratic Party primary right now. Polls show Cordray up by 20 points, and the margin might be even higher tonight.
Once again, we have what’s basically a two person race with a clear favorite. Current Attorney General Mark DeWine is the heavy favorite on the Republican side, also having approval among the Ohio establishment, which will help. Current Lt. Governor Mary Taylor is the only candidate well positioned to stop DeWine, but a poor campaign has seen her become an even heavier underdog in this race.
Ohio’s 1st Congressional district (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Representative Steve Chabot is running for reelection.The incumbent has over $1.3 million in cash on hand as of April 18th.He faces only token opposition in the GOP primary from a little known candidate who has raised less than $4k total. He is expected to win by a wide margin.
Aftab Pureval originally faced a contested primary but both Robert Barr and Laura Ann Weaver withdrew after he qualified. He defeated a republican in the 2016 elections to become the first democrat in 100 years to hold the office of Hamilton County Clerk of Courts. He has over $679k on hand. He now faces no opposition.
Ohio’s 2nd Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Representative Brad Wenstrup is running for re-election and has over $900k on hand. He faces no primary opposition.
Three little known democrats are running in this primary. Jill Schiller is a former Obama administration staffer and is the nominal frontrunner, having raised more than double what her opponents have combined as of April 18th. She has just shy of $52k on hand. Her nearest opponent is Dr. Janet Everhard, who was a write in candidate in 2016 for this race. She has raised half of what Mrs.Schiller has but may have some name recognition from her prior run. Perennial candidate William Smith is also on the ballot, he was the democratic nominee in 2012, lost the democratic primary in 2014 and was again the nominee in 2016. He has raised no money according to the FEC this year and has previously said putting his name on the ballot is a “bucket list thing”. Ms.Schiller has a edge but Mr. Smith could conceivably win due to name recognition and the two other candidates splitting the vote.
Ohio’s 3rd Congressional District (Democratic Defense, Incumbent Running)
Little known candidates Jim Burgess and Abdulkadir Haji are both running for the Republican nomination. Neither has reported any fundraising to the FEC. The race is a toss-up.
Incumbent Representative Joyce Beatty is running for re-election and has over $1.1 million on hand. She faces no primary opposition.
Ohio’s 4th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Representative Jim Jordan is running for reelection and has over $1.3 million in cash on hand. He faces token opposition from a Joseph Miller. He is expected to win by a wide margin.
Retired school teacher Janet Garrett is the nominal front runner and has nearly $31k on hand as she makes her third attempt at unseating Jim Jordan. Her primary opponents withdrew or were removed from the ballot, leaving only Cody James Slatzer‐Rose as token opposition. She is expected to win her primary.
Ohio’s 5th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Representative Robert E. Latta is running for re-election and has over $1.2 million on hand. He faces a primary challenge from the right by Van Wert County Commissioner Todd Wolfrum. Little known candidate and former engineer Bob Kreienkamp is also running citing dissatisfaction with the incumbents outreach to constituents. The anti-Latta vote, be it what it may, will likely be split by the presence of two opposing candidates and Rep. Latta has outspent Mr. Wolfrum heavily this year. He is expected to win his primary.
James Neu Jr. and John Michael Galbraith are running for the democratic nomination. James Neu was the 2016 nominee and lost to the incumbent. Mr. Galbraith is a local Professor and seemingly well-connected business owner. Mr. Galbraith has spent some $60k to Mr.Neu’s $0 according to the FEC. Mr.Galbraith is hence a slight favorite but it is possible Mr. Neu can win based on name recognition.
Ohio’s 6th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Representative Bill Johnson is running for reelection and faces only token opposition. He is expected to win by a wide margin.
Bernie Sanders delegate to the DNC in 2016 Werner Lange and Shawna Roberts are facing off in this primary. Ms.Roberts had a $2.7k to $0 fundraising advantage as of April but this race is a tossup.
Ohio’s 7th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Representative Bob Gibbs is running for reelection and has over $1.3 million on hand. He faces Terry Robertson, who took 25% of the vote in the GOP Primary for this seat in 2016 and Patrick Quinn, an un-successful primary candidate for a state house race in 2016. The incumbent is expected to win by a large margin.
Kenneth Harbaugh is a Navy veteran and President of a non-profit focused on disaster relief. He faces little-known Patrick Pikus in the primary. Harbaugh has over $700k on hand and is expected to win the primary.
Ohio’s 8th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Representative Warren Davidson faces no primary opposition and is expected to be the nominee.
There is a crowded field of democrats vying for the nomination.The FEC has Perennial candidate Mort Meier and little known Bill Ebben running, though they have reported no fundraising. The rest of the field is also little known and includes Veteran Ted Jones, failed 2014 primary candidate Matthew Guyette and Dr.Vanessa Enoch. The race is a toss up.
Ohio’s 9th Congressional District (Democratic Defense, Incumbent Running)
Republicans have a three-way primary in this race. The candidates include former State legislator Steve Kraus, who was forced from office due to a felony conviction he is appealing as politically motivated, and Keith Colton, whose website ties him to and prominently shows President Trump and Ivanka Trump. Someone by the name of W. Benjamin Franklin is also running.
Incumbent Representative Marcy Kaptur is running for reelection and has over $600k on hand. She faces opposition from the left in 29 year old candidate Joshua Garcia. She is expected to win her primary.
Ohio’s 10th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Incumbent Representative Michael Turner is running for reelection and has nearly $557k on hand. He faces John Anderson, who unsuccessfully challenged him in 2012 and 2014 in the primary. Also on the ballot is John Mitchel. The incumbent is expected to win by a large margin.
Michael Milisits is a telecommunications worker who is emphasising his connection to the working person. Theresa Gaspar is a former Republican hoping to win over the “politically homeless” who, like her, feel like their party has left them and their values behind. She says she has met with the DCCC and she leads in fundraising. Robert Klepinger is also running as a progressive.Ms.Gaspar has a slight edge due to her spending and the fact the other two candidates may split the more liberal vote.
Ohio’s 11th Congressional District (Democratic Defense, Incumbent Running)
Overview: Democratic congresswoman Marcia Fudge, who chaired the 2016 Democratic National Convention, is facing Felicia Washington Ross in the Democratic primary, but she isn’t at all likely to lose. A perennial and first-time candidate are running in the Republican primary. The winner will unlikely pose a threat in this heavily Democratic Cleveland-based district.
Ohio’s 12th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Not Running)
Overview: When Pat Tiberi resigned from Congress, the opportunity for Democrats to gain a House seat from a special election came about. This R+7 district which is based around the Columbus suburbs and has a mix of urban and rural areas could certainly become competitive in the general. A crowded field of Democrats and Republicans have lined up in their respective primaries. The Democrats running include Franklin County recorder Danny O’Connor, probably the favorite to win, former Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott, who has a rough past with the county party, and progressive-backed John Russell. The GOP boasts a bigger field, with state senators Kevin Bacon and Troy Balderson, veteran and semi-moderate Tim Kane, and conservative trustee Melanie Leneghan. Party insiders worry that Leneghan could throw the general for the GOP but she’s stayed competitive in the primary polls, while Balderson has received fundraising support from many within the party as well as Tiberi’s endorsement.
Ohio’s 13th Congressional District (Democratic Defense, Incumbent Running)
Overview: Democratic Congressman Tim Ryan has made a name for himself in Congress. After running against Nancy Pelosi for Democratic leader, he’s spent time campaigning for House Democratic candidates, including Conor Lamb in Pennsylvania’s 18th district. Ryan’s district is based in an industrial, heavily democratic area of northeastern Ohio and isn’t facing a serious primary challenge. Only 1 Republican is running in the GOP’s primary.
Ohio’s 14th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Overview: Republican Congressman Dave Joyce may be running unopposed in the Republican primary, but so is his well-backed opponent in the Democratic primary. Betsy Rader has hauled in impressive fundraising and is running on a progressive platform in her hopes to flip this northeastern-based district.
Ohio’s 15th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Running)
Overview: Steve Stivers, the chair of the NRCC, has a background that undoubtedly helped him in getting no primary challengers. But Democrat Rick Neal, who produced a viral campaign video and boasts a traditional military background and moderate platform is fending off against progressive Democrat and high school teacher Rob Jarvis.
Ohio’s 16th Congressional District (Republican Defense, Incumbent Not Running)
Overview: Republican Congressman Jim Renacci isn’t running for re-election and is instead challenging Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown, so the 16th district, based around Cleveland and it’s southern suburbs, is open. The Republican primary includes former NFL player Anthony Gonzalez, who is endorsed by Marco Rubio. He’s in a fight against state representative Christian Hagan, who’s vehemently tied herself to Trump and the anti-establishment wing of the GOP. Not even 30, she’s endorsed by individuals like Sebastian Gorka, Mark Meadows and Joe Walsh. The Democratic primary will probably see progressive Aaron Godfrey, endorsed by the Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus, pull through.
Special Thanks to Jon (@Jon19911100), who wrote Districts 1–10, and Alex (@alexobe11), who wrote Districts 11–16.