67th Ohio House District Rep. Andrew Brenner (R) will switch places with state Sen. Kris Jordan (R), District 19, after defeating their opponents in Tuesday’s (Nov. 6) general election.
Brenner received 50.65 percent of the total votes cast (79,603 votes) in the district, which includes Delaware County, Knox County, and a portion of Franklin County. He defeated both Louise Valentine (D), who received 47.50 percent of the votes (74,656), and Gary Cox (G), who received less than 2 percent of the votes (2,916).
Though Brenner faced two candidates from different parties, he focused his campaign on the one he considered the biggest threat.
“We knew the demographics coming out of Franklin County was going to be heavy Democrat,” he said. “The Democrats put their resources into Valentine.”
Brenner said he crunched the numbers a couple weeks in advance of the election, and “We knew what was probably going to happen.”
“We felt there was going to be a major push from the other side — the Democrats,” he said.
Brenner said he knocked on thousands of doors and met with many of the constituents in the district.
“I look forward to serving the constituents. I’m going to continue doing what I’ve been doing as a state representative,” he said. “It’s just a bigger area.”
Valentine said when she started her campaign, she wanted to advance a vision for an Ohio where families would thrive.
“While we fell just short of victory, I could not be more proud of the campaign we ran,” she said. “Serving as your candidate has been an honor and a privilege.”
Valentine said she doesn’t see the vision dying.
“We must continue to stand up and fight for our public schools, affordable health care, and quality jobs every single day,” she said. “Thank you to every single voter, volunteer, and donors who believed in our message and fought for this campaign. Thank you to the police, firefighters, teachers, union workers, and all of the incredible organizations that stood with me throughout this race. Tomorrow, we get back to work for Ohio’s future. Thank you.”
Cox, whose platform encompasses four main issues: “Get money out of politics, figure out what to do with health care, create a living wage for everybody, and have sustainable agriculture,” said he thought he did well in his campaign.
“I thought it was pretty impressive for a third party candidate that wasn’t getting any press,” Cox said about getting almost two percent of the vote.“The legislature has created a system that makes it hard for a third-party candidate to crack the system.
“What’s impressive to me is that 54 percent of registered voters voted in the midterms. People were motivated — people want people who will govern,” he said.
Jordan, who won his bid to serve as the District 67 representative in the Ohio House, received 33,092 of the total votes cast in the district, 56.27 percent of the vote, while his opponent, Cory D. Hoffman (D), received 25,713 votes, 43.73 percent of the total votes cast.
“We hit our win number, but we underprojected the turnout. In the early polls, we were tied, but the tie evaporated once the numbers started to roll in,” Hoffman said. “I wish Sen. Jordan the best. We got 25,000 votes, the district is not just a conservative district anymore. I hope Sen. Jordan reaches out to those folks.”
Hoffman said he wasn’t sure if he would run for elected office again or not.
“It’s tough when you put everything into it and still lose,” he said.
Jordan couldn’t be reached for comments.
Rick Carfagna (R) was elected to another term as representative of Ohio House District 68 with 34,160 of the total votes, 64.12 percent, while his opponent Kathleen Tate (D) received 17,921 of the votes in the district, 33.64 percent of the votes. Patrick Glasgow (L) received 1,193 votes in the race, 2.24 percent.
Carfagna said Tate had a lot of spirit, and she would give it to him straight. He said he expects to hear from Tate from time-to-time in the future.
“I’m entirely grateful to the voters and humbled by the margin of the win,” he said. “We definitely have a changing demographic in Delaware County.”
Carfagna said winning a political office is one thing, keeping it is another.
“The voters in Delaware County are savvy. They want leaders who are working on the issues and getting results. I need to be able to make thoughtful decisions and be able to look at how they impact the political spectrum of Delaware and Knox counties,” he said.
Tate said, overall, she is disappointed with the Democratic Party by losing the major state seats.
“I’m very pleased with my race,” she said. “I got one-third of the vote. I thought that was pretty good.
“It was a very interesting introduction to politics in Ohio,” she added. “As for all of my fellow candidates, I’m glad to have met them and ask them to keep up the good work.”
Glasgow couldn’t be reached for comments.
Contact D. Anthony Botkin at 740-413-0902. Follow him on Twitter @dabotkin.