Ohio Republican Party: Wikis

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The Ohio Republican Party is the Ohio state affiliate of the United States Republican Party. As of 2009, the Republicans control only the Senate of the Ohio General Assembly due to advances made by Democrats in the other chamber of the General Assembly in 2008 election cycle. The Republicans also currently hold all seats on the Ohio Supreme Court, although officially judicial seats are nonpartisan. Kevin DeWine has been chairman of the Ohio GOP since 2009.

Contents

History

From the Civil War era, Ohio politics was dominated by the Republican party, with Ohio Republicans playing key roles in the national party. In the 60 years from 1860 to 1920, Ohioans headed the Republican presidential ticket nine times, losing only once (in 1912, when Theodore Roosevelt split the party). Ohio Republicans such as Salmon P. Chase staffed many important national offices. Starting in the 1880s, Ohio's Marcus A. Hanna was a significant power in the back rooms of the national Republican party. In the 1890s, Hanna led the conservative wing of the party against Theodore Roosevelt's progressive movement.

The national political upheaval that ushered in the New Deal era in the 1930s benefited the Ohio Democratic Party and party politics in Ohio became very competitive, with Republicans and Democrats trading victories at all levels. However, on a national level, Ohio Democrats did not play a key role, while Ohio Republicans still cut national figures. The prime example of such a figure was Robert Taft, known as "Mr. Republican," the leader of the conservative wing of the Republican party during a time when liberals controlled both major parties.

From the 1930s to the 1970s, Republicans still won the larger share of elective offices in Ohio. However, another national liberalizing trend in the 1960s gave the Ohio Democrats another boost. In addition, a series of rulings by the United States Supreme Court required state legislatures to end the practice of giving disproportionate electoral power to rural areas. The equalization of legislative districts shifted the advantage to the Ohio Democrats, who were strong in Ohio's many large urban centers. By the mid-1980s, Ohio government at all levels was dominated by Democrats.

However, just as Democrats were reaching their peak, the Ohio Republican party was staging a comeback, and by 1990, the Republicans had won a majority on the Ohio Apportionment Board, which draws district lines for federal and state legislative seats. The 1992 adoption of term limits by referendum further strengthened the party's hand and 1992 marked the last victory by a Democrat (John Glenn) in a statewide race until 2006.

By 2004, Republicans hold all six statewide executive offices (governor/lieutenant governor, attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, and treasurer), a two-thirds majority in the state senate and house, a 5-2 majority on the Supreme Court, both seats in the U.S. Senate, and 12 of Ohio's 18 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, in 2006, Democrats began to retake some statewide offices. These include all of the executive offices except State Auditor (including the governorship going to Ted Strickland over Republican challenger J. Kenneth Blackwell) and one of the seats in the U.S. Senate (Sherrod Brown defeating incumbent Mike DeWine). Ohio Republicans still hold a 10 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives (one seat, most recently held by a Republican, is now vacant), one seat in the U.S. Senate and a majority in both houses of the Ohio General Assembly. In addition, with the election of Robert Cupp, Republicans now control all seven seats on the Ohio Supreme Court.

Current State of the Party

Redistricting after the 2000 census combined with Ohio's term limits laws had Republican officeholders at the federal and state levels struggling with each other to draw federal congressional districts to create safe seats, with the interests of incumbent U.S. representatives clashing with the interests of state legislators facing term limits looking to Congress for their next jobs. About 43 percent of the voters voted for Democrats in 2000.

Joe Hallett wrote in the Columbus Dispatch (January 13, 2002):

"Redistricting should be a happy process for Republicans. ... But the task has hardly been gleeful. Contrarily, it has turned into an embarrassment for Republicans ... Eight-year term limits, more than the state budget, are to blame. These days, state lawmakers constantly are scouting their next jobs. ... [V]isions of Congress dance in their heads. They want districts ready-made for their ascensions. Meanwhile, congressional incumbents constantly angle for districts they can't possibly lose."

Although term limits were pushed by conservative Republican activists in the 1980s, they forced the retirement of Republican Speaker Jo Ann Davidson (R-Columbus) from the House of Representatives in 2001 as well as the leader of the conservative wing of the party, Deputy Speaker William G. Batchelder (R-Medina).

In 2001 Republicans sought U.S. House of Representatives seats held by Democrats Sherrod Brown and Ted Strickland. The state legislature considered redrawing their districts. Critics allege the motivation was to aid in Republican victories. When Democrat Brown threatened to run for governor in 2002 if he lost his seat through redistricting, the legislature scrapped redistricting plans. Republican Governor Taft won re-election. Taft was challenged by Cuyahoga County commissioner Tim Hagan. Both Brown and Strickland held onto their congressional seats.

The Republican party domination of the general election has caused the real competition to be among the Republican primaries (as was once the case for the Democrats' primaries in the solid South). Special interest groups, such as the Ohio Taxpayers Association, have attempted to influence Republican primary voters through campaigning and electioneering.

The state of the party had prompted some to conclude that the party organization's ability to help the Bush re-election campaign in 2004 might be hampered, but after a contentious election, the Bush campaign came out ahead.

Current Republican Officeholders

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Federal

State

Executive Branch

Senate

The Republicans are the majority party in the Ohio State Senate. The party's leaders are:

House of Representatives

The Republicans are the minority party in the Ohio House of Representatives. The party's leaders are:

  • Floor Leader: William G. Bachelder
  • Assistant Floor Leader: Louis W. Blessing, Jr.
  • Whip: John Adams
  • Assistant Whip: Kris Jordan

Supreme Court

Prominent Ohio Republicans in the Past

Party Symbols

Ohio Republicans use the same symbols used by the national Republican party, such as the elephant. However, the traditional symbol of the party in state and local elections is the eagle.

External links

See also


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