Tea Party Beats Ohio Democrat Chairman

It was a very good night for Republicans throughout the country.  It looks like nine Senate seats will switch into the GOP’s favor, as well as at least 12 house seats.  Ohio did not have competitive races at the top of the ticket, and Gov. Kasich certainly won his re-election very handily.  There are questions about turn-out and how they related to this election, but I’m not sure clear conclusions can be drawn.  Looking only at raw votes, Kasich only gained 33K more votes while the Democrat had about 880K fewer.  That’s almost a million fewer votes in 2014 than in 2010.  Also, 88K voters made decisions on other races but left the Governor race blank, which was the recommendation of many of the Tea Parties in Ohio.

The biggest news of the night was Tea Party candidate Steve Kraus running against and beating the Democrat Chairman Chris Redfern.


Ohio’s 89th district includes Erie and Ottawa counties, which Barack Obama won with about 53% and is represented in parts by both Marcy Kaptur and Jim Jordan.  The Ohio Republican Party did NOT put up a candidate during the months before the filing deadline and for much of the year never looked twice at this race.  When some polls came out showing that Redfern was vulnerable, the GOP again flinched when they saw that Kraus was solidly backed by the Tea Party.  For those who think that the job of the Republican Party is to support Republicans, that is not the case in Ohio.  The party is very much in the back pocket of John Kasich and the political gurus around him, and they have allies in the Ohio House, Senate, and the Supreme Court.  (Justice Judy French stated that her job on the Ohio Supreme Court included acting as a “backstop” for the GOP agenda – http://www.dispatch.com/content/blogs/the-daily-briefing/2014/10/10-25-14-french-remarks.html).  Kraus won this race as a Republican but without the help of the Ohio GOP.

Out of the 99 Ohio House seats, the Republican advantage grew from 60 seats to 65 after this election.  The Senate remains the same with a 23-10 GOP advantage.  The new House members, including Steve Kraus, are a bit more conservative than the previous makeup and are less likely to bow to the cronyism inside the Republican Party.  This can only be a good thing for Ohio, and may serve as a counterpoint to any progressive policies that John Kasich may promote as he considers the feasibility of a presidential run.