Southwest Ohio Election Results Show Few Surprises

May 8, 2018

Contested candidate races were few and far between in southwest Ohio Tuesday, but there was a smattering of interesting matchups.

Here are a few of them:

51st Ohio House District

This GOP primary may have been the most interesting of the contested primaries in southwest Ohio.

Sara Carruthers, a first-time political candidate whose family is well known in Hamilton, has defeated two experienced Republican politicians in this Ohio House race.

The dynamics of this race were set in March 2017, when the incumbent Republican, State Rep. Wes Retherford of Hamilton, was found by police drunk and passed out in his car in the drive-thru of a local McDonald's. He had a loaded gun in his car.

Retherford was convicted of a misdemeanor count of OVI. He apologized to his colleagues and his constituents and swears that he has never touched a drop of alcohol since.

But Carruthers, whose wealthy family has donated millions to Hamilton and Butler County institutions, jumped into the race, saying the people of the district deserved better.

Later, Greg Jolivette, a former Hamilton mayor and state representative, entered the race. Tuesday night, with 100 percent of the district's precincts counted, Carruthers had 46 percent, Retherford 32 percent and Jolivette 22 percent.

Hamilton County Commissioner (Democrat):

The closest thing to an upset came in the Democratic primary for Hamilton County commissioner. 

With 100 percent of the precincts reporting, former Forest Park mayor Stephanie Summerow Dumas won a clear victory over James Wolf, the mayor of Mt. Healthy, with 58 percent of the vote to Wolf's 42 percent. 

What makes it an upset is that Wolf had the backing of the Hamilton County Democratic Party and many prominent Democrats around the county. 

Dumas will face incumbent Republican Chris Monzel in the November election. 

9th Ohio Senate District

Democratic incumbent Cecil Thomas had an easy win over State Rep. Dale Mallory in this central-city, heavily black district in Cincinnati. With all 230 precincts reporting, Thomas led with 74 percent to Mallory's 26 percent. 

Cecil Thomas.
Credit Sarah Ramsey

Mallory challenged Thomas, a former Cincinnati council member and police officer, in the primary for this seat four years ago and came in second in a crowded race. Mallory is the brother of former mayor Mark Mallory and son of the late William L. Mallory, the former Ohio House minority leader and scion of a Cincinnati political dynasty.

Warren County Commissioner

Former state representative Ronald Maag challenged incumbent Republican county commissioner Tom Grossmann in Tuesday's primary, but Grossmann won fairly easily. 

With all precincts counted, Grossmann led Maag with 54.5 percent of the unofficial vote to 45.5 percent for Maag.

28th Ohio House District

In the Democratic primary, Jessica Miranda, president of the Winton Woods school board, held a large lead over dentist Paul Sohi, 60 percent to 40 percent, with all 91 precincts reporting. 

The winner of that contest will face Republican incumbent Jonathan Dever in the fall.