Howard Wilkinson

Sen. Rob Portman threw a bucket of cold water on those who were hot to see him run for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination when he announced Monday that he would be running for re-election to a second term in the Senate instead.

Karen Kasler / Ohio Public Radio

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, has put an end to speculation that he might run for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination by saying he will run for a second term in the Senate.

Portman, the 59-year-old first term senator from Terrace Park, had been mulling over the possibility of a 2016 run for the presidency for months, encouraged by political advisers and major GOP campaign contributors.

Portman told WVXU Tuesday that he is looking forward to being part of the new Republican majority in the Senate - a majority he helped create as the Senate GOP's chief fundraiser in 2014.

State Rep. Peter Beck
Ohio House of Representatives website

State Rep. Peter Beck, a Mason Republican indicted on 69 counts of fraud and theft, has resigned from the Ohio House.

Mike Dittoe, a spokesman for Ohio House Speaker William Batchelder, said Beck’s resignation was turned in Sunday and put on the House record Monday.

Beck, a former Mason council member and mayor, would have been gone by the end of the month, when his present term expired.

Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune had a really bad experience with the Ohio Democratic Party early this year – especially with state party chairman Chris Redfern.

Last December, Portune – the only Democrat on the county commission – started crisscrossing the state in an attempt to build support to run for Ohio governor.

The problem was that Portune started too late – Ed FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive – had been campaigning since early in 2013; and had already wrapped up the party establishment and the endorsement of the state party.

WVXU politics reporter Howard Wilkinson spoke with Maryanne Zeleznik about three Cincinnati Democrats who could play a role in re-building the Ohio Democratic Party.

Yes, the Nov. 4 election was a complete train wreck for the Ohio Democratic Party.

The gubernatorial candidate, Ed FitzGerald, was so abysmally weak that he took only 33 percent of the vote again incumbent Republican John Kasich – the worst drubbing of a Democratic candidate for governor since an unknown state senator named Rob Burch had 25 percent of the vote against popular GOP incumbent George Voinovich in 1994.

Republicans were dancing on their desks Tuesday night. Democrats’ chins were dragging on the floor. But before we shut the door on the 2014 election, here are some final thoughts on what happened Tuesday, especially here in southwest Ohio.

Thomas/Winburn:

Conventional wisdom had the 9th Ohio Senate District race between former Cincinnati council member Cecil Thomas and current council member Charlie Winburn going down to the wire.

But, in the end, Thomas crushed Winburn, knocking him flatter than a pancake with 57 percent of the vote.

WVXU politics reporter talked with Maryanne Zeleznik this morning about Tuesday's election - one which saw the Republicans sweep all of Ohio's statewide offices, as they did four years ago.

Sarah Ramsey

Despite being outspent by at least four-to-one, former Cincinnati council member Cecil Thomas held the 9th Ohio Senate District for the Democrats, rolling over Republican Charlie Winburn in an easy win.

With 100 percent of the unofficial vote counted, the 61-year-Democrat took 57 percent of the vote to 43 percent for Winburn.

Winburn spent over $300,000 since July trying to win the seat and become the only African-American Republican in the Ohio Senate Republican Caucus.

Republican Steve Pendery has won a fifth term as Campbell County’s judge executive, defeating Democratic candidate Ken Rechtin.

With 64 of the county’s 67 precincts reporting, the 60-year-old Pendery led in the unofficial vote by 13 percentage points – 58 percent to 41 percent. WCPO reported shortly before 8:30 p.m. that Rechtin called Pendery to congratulate him on the win.

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