OHIO VALLEY — Incumbents are projected to retain their seats for State Representative, U.S. Congress and U.S. Senate, while voters rejected Issue 1.
State Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) was reelected for a second term to represent the 94th House District. In vote totals from Meigs, Athens, Vinton and Washington counties, Edwards received 23,556 votes to 16,855 for challenger Taylor Sappington (D-Nelsonville).
Congressman Bill Johnson (R-Marietta) is also projected to retain his seat to represent the 6th congressional district. As of 10:30 p.m. on Election Night, Johnson held a 69.32 percent to 30.68 percent advantage over Democratic challenger Shawna Roberts.
At the state level, one of Ohio’s winningest Democrats captured a third term in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday as his party hoped to turn a recent Republican tide in statewide races. Meanwhile, voters rejected a proposed constitutional amendment to make possession of all types of drugs misdemeanors.
Sherrod Brown, first elected to an Ohio office in 1974, defeated fourth-term U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci. Democrat Richard Cordray, President Barack Obama’s appointee as federal consumer protection chief, was in a tight race for governor with Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine. It’s a rematch of the 2010 election when DeWine narrowly ousted Cordray to become attorney general.
At 10:45 p.m. on Election Night, DeWine was declared the “projected winner” in the Governor race.
Issue 1 was presented as an effort to reduce the state prison population and divert savings to drug treatment. Most judicial and law enforcement groups opposed the measure. DeWine opposed it and Cordray supported it.
The Ohio Secretary of State’s office says more than 1.3 million people voted ahead of Tuesday’s election, far outpacing the number of votes cast early statewide four years ago. Officials say that through Monday, nearly 885,000 absentee ballots had been received by mail statewide and that 430,000 people voted early in person. That compares with around 719,000 people mailing in ballots in 2014 and 146,000 people voting early in person, for a total of about 865,000.
Around 8 million Ohioans are registered to vote.
Sam Rossi, a spokesman for the Ohio Secretary of State’s Office, said there had been no major problems reported in the state. Likewise, no problems were reported by Meigs County officials.
Ohioans were deciding another four down-ticket races, two Supreme Court seats, and dozens of state legislative races. Results of those races will appear in the Thursday edition of The Daily Sentinel.
The Associated Press and Sentinel Managing Editor Sarah Hawley contributed to this report.