In politics, if you have the numbers, you get to make the rules.
In Ohio, the Republicans have the numbers – they control both the Ohio House and Senate, they have one of their own in the governor’s office, John Kasich, and a Republican as the state’s chief elections officer, Secretary of State John Husted.
What Kasich, Husted and the legislature have done in recent weeks is to wield that power to make some rather big changes in the early voting system Ohio has used since 2006.
The 9th Ohio Senate District, which takes up most of the heavily Democratic city of Cincinnati, ought to be a slam dunk this fall for the candidate who emerges in the May 6 primary from a crowded field of Democratic candidates.
State Sen. Eric Kearney of North Avondale can’t run for re-election because of term limits. The 9th District – changed somewhat but not a lot in the last few re-drawings of district lines – was represented before Kearney by Mark Mallory, who left to become Cincinnati’s mayor; Janet C. Howard, and, for 25 years before that, the late William F. Bowen.
If a legislative district has a majority of African-American residents, must it be represented by an African-American?
That is a sticky question that has been roiling in the Hamilton County Democratic Party recently, as the Democrats try to hold on to the 32nd Ohio House District held by Dale Mallory who term-limited out and is running for the Ohio Senate.
Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune has given up plans to challenge Ed FitzGerald in a Democratic primary race for Ohio Governor.
Portune's decision came only five days before the Wednesday filing deadline for statewide candidates. After crisscrossing the state since early December trying to drum up support, in the end he could not muster enough support or overcome the opposition of the Ohio Democratic Party, which has endorsed FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive.