The following story was written by a student on the staff of The Jaguar Times as part of Hilliard Bradley High School’s Journalism Production course.
by Eric Sese
This past Tuesday, the Ohio primary elections settled numerous contentious races. Candidates vied for their respective political parties’ nominations. Some of the most competitive races saw large victories for some candidates, while others signaled shifts in Ohio’s political landscape. Here is a breakdown of a few of the most notable primary elections in Ohio.
The highlight of Ohio's 2022 primary elections was this year’s Republican U.S. Senate primary. Gary Mullins (9) thought that it was “the biggest race of the primaries”. Former President Donald Trump brought the race to national attention after endorsing venture capitalist and author, J.D. Vance. The former president’s endorsement only a few weeks prior to the primaries was seen as a test of his political influence well past his presidency. Although Vance typically polled third or fourth place out of seven candidates, Trump’s endorsement pushed him to first place on election night.
While most candidates aligned with President Trump when it came to policy, one candidate made a surprise jump in the polls late in the race and into election night. State senator Matt Dolan stood out as the only “never-Trumper” candidate throughout the race. Although he typically polled in the single digits, the primary election saw him grab almost 25% of the vote, only 9% behind Vance. His success signaled some political showings for anti-Trump Republicans during the age of “Trumpism”.
U.S. Representative Tim Ryan, who easily won the Democratic primary, will face Republican J.D. Vance this November in the general election.
In the Ohio gubernatorial race, much of the attention was once again on the Republican primary. Incumbent governor, Mike DeWine, ran for the Republican nomination with his eyes on winning a second term. Unfortunately, Dewine received lots of criticism from Republicans for his more restrictive COVID-19 policies during his term. This criticism even reached President Trump, who encouraged a primary challenger to DeWine during one of his rants.
Although no prominent Republican challenger materialized, DeWine ended up winning the primary with only 48% of the vote. Winning only a plurality proved to be a disappointing result for an incumbent from his party. Social studies teacher Miss Cline suggests that “factions in the Republican party” are forming and getting bigger. DeWine has largely been regarded as a traditional Republican. Unfortunately, as Ohio Republicans slowly shift towards a stronger conservative ideology, DeWine is left behind as an outlier.
Former Mayor of Dayton Nan Whaley, who easily won the Democratic primary, will face Republican Mike DeWine this November in the general election.
This primary election season was largely a test for Republicans and the future of their party in Ohio. For Ohio Democrats, the general election will be a test of their political dominance in a state which has generally favored Republicans in recent years. Primary elections have historically experienced a lower voter turnout than general elections. As a registered voter, Brian Kitchen (12) believes it is our “civic duty” to participate in these democratic elections.
Ohio’s primary election is just one of fifty states. Although primary elections have lesser turnout, they play a big role in shaping political landscapes.