Galena farmer John Russell finished third in the Democratic primary on May 8 for the 12th Congressional District, which includes eastern Delaware County.
Out of almost 44,000 votes cast, unofficial results had Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor garnering nearly 41 percent of the vote; former Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott and Russell with nearly 17 percent each; Jackie Patton with 13 percent; Ed Albertson with 8 percent and Doug Wilson with 4 percent. Russell was second to O’Connor in fundraising, had 50 volunteers and made more than 20,000 voter contacts.
“Cannot thank enough the volunteers, friends, staff, and family that made our progress possible,” Russell said via Facebook. “While I won’t be leading this charge, I’ll be at your side as we fight for the reforms we want to see.”
Russell was a founder of the 4,000-person Indivisible group in the 12th, in the wake of Genoa Township Republican Pat Tiberi’s failure to hold town hall meetings regarding the Affordable Care Act since January 2017 and his subsequent resignation to head the Ohio Business Roundtable. Tiberi’s term expires Jan. 3, 2019. Russell also was unsuccessful in running for the Ohio House in 2016.
The packed field of 18 seeking the post is now down to three. O’Connor will face two others in the August special election to finish out Tiberi’s unexpired term and in the Nov. 6 general election: Joe Manchick (who ran unopposed for the Green Party) and Troy Balderson (Republican Party). Of the nearly 68,000 votes cast in the Republican primary, the results were Balderson (29 percent) narrowly defeating Liberty Township Trustee Melanie Leneghan (28 percent); Tim Kane (17 percent); Kevin Bacon (14 percent); Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien (6 percent); and Jon Halverstadt, Lawrence Cohen, Mick Shoemaker Jr. and Pat Manley (each with just over 1 percent).
“I was outspent by Pat Tiberi and the ‘Swamp,’” Leneghan said of her second-place finish.“I would encourage everyone to continue to pray for our country.”
“I learned so much about the area and the 12th district, but I’ll be back in the office doing what I do, representing the folks of Delaware County,” O’Brien said.
Governor: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine (Republican) will face Richard Cordray (Democrat), Constance Gadell-Newton (Green), and Collin Hill (Independent) in November. With more than 827,000 votes cast, DeWine received nearly 60 percent of the vote against Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor. In the Democratic Gubernatorial primary, nearly 680,000 votes were cast, with Cordray receiving 62 percent; Dennis Kucinich receiving almost 23 percent; Joseph Schiavoni getting 9 percent; William O’Neill with 3 percent and Paul Ray and Larry Ealy netting 1 percent.
U.S. Senate: Donald Trump-endorsed Republican Jim Renacci will face incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown in November. Unopposed, Brown received more than 605,000 votes. With more than 760,000 votes cast in the Republican primary, Renacci received more than 47 percent of the vote; defeating Mike Gibbons (32 percent); Melissa Ackison (13 percent); Dan Kiley and Don Elijah Eckhart (nearly 4 percent each).
19th District, Ohio Senate: Powell Republican Andrew Brenner will face Democrat Louise Valentine and Gary Cox of the Green Party on Nov. 6. Valentine and Cox were unopposed; while Brenner received more than 67 percent of the vote over Joel Spitzer of Lewis Center (32.5 percent). Brenner is in his fourth and final term representing the 67th district.
67th District, State Representative: For the Republicans, 19th District Rep. Kris Jordan (40 percent) defeated Denise Martin and Powell Councilman Brian Lorenz (30 percent each). Backed by 72nd District incumbent Larry Householder, Jordan will face Democrat Cory Hoffman in November. Hoffman was unopposed in the primary.
Representative to Congress — District 12
Ed Albertson — 3,546
• Danny O’Connor — 17,969
Jackie Patton — 5,956
John Russell — 7,346
Zach Scott — 7,394
Doug Wilson — 1,734
Kevin Bacon — 9,695
• Troy Balderson — 19,814
Lawrence Cohen — 796
Jon Halverstadt — 984
Tim Kane — 11,578
Melanie Leneghan — 19,161
Pat Manley — 729
Carol O’Brien — 4,354
Mick Shoemaker Jr. — 736
State Senator — District 19
• Andrew O. Brenner — 17,743
Joel M. Spitzer — 8,574
State Representative — District 67
• Kris Jordan — 4,981
Brian Lorenz — 3,660
Denise Martin — 3,758
• = Winner.
Information for this story was provided by D. Anthony Botkin of The Delaware Gazette, Associated Press, BallotPedia, Terra Goodnight of Swing State Voices.