Ohio State Senate Dem Pick up Opportunities
...Ohio has 33 senate seats, currently occupied by 22 Republicans and 11 Democrats, so it would take a 6-seat-swing for a Democratic majority. That would be difficult enough, but it's even worse as in every election only half of the senate seats are up for reelection for a 4-year-term. In 2006 the odd-numbered senate seats are up, 9 Republicans and 7 Democrats. Every senator is term-limited to 2 terms.
I consider the following competitive:
Our best pick-up opportunity is without a doubt the 13th senate district. Sen. Armbruster is term-limited, so this is an open seat. In 2002 he ran for reelection as an incumbant against nurse and SEIU leader Susan Morano and won with 50,2%/49,8% with exactly 372 votes.
This year Susan Morano - runs again, this time against Ohio Board of Education member Martha Wise. In the primary, Martha Wise was unopposed and received 14.464 votes. Susan Morano ran in a contentious primary and received 19.885 votes, her primary opponent received 8.257 votes, a combined 28.142 Democratic votes. Of course a contentious primary leads to higher turnout, but you have to consider, that the major primary race was the race for the Republican gubernatorial nomination. The Democratic races were far less competitive.
The 13th district combines Huron and Lorain Counties as well as the eastern parts of Seneca county. The Ohio SoS website (yes, Blackwell...) doesn't provide information about election results for the Presidential election in a legislative district or even cracked down to precincts, so I only have county-wide results. Bush won Huron County 58,0%/41,3% and Seneca County with 58,9%/40,6%, but the most populous county in the district in Lorain County, which was carried by Kerry with 56,1%/43,5%. I don't exactly know, how much of Seneca county is part of this district, but I think it's fair to say that Kerry carried the 13th district.
Lorain County is the home county of Sherrod Brown, so it's his base for the competitive senate race, which should boost Democratic turnout. Part of Lorain belongs to his 13th congressional district, that (open) race is at least semi-competitive. The rest of Lorain county belongs to the 9th CD of Rep. Kaptur (D), Huron and Seneca counties belong to the 5th CD of Rep. Gilmor (R).
The last fundraising report showed a cash-on-hand advantage for Sue Morano, she had 72.155,62 $ CoH, Martha Wise 1.523,03 $. Sue should win this hands-down.
The 27th senate district is represented by Rep. Kevin Coughlin (R). He won in 2002 with 52,9%/47,1%. In the primary however, he was unopposed and got 17.151 votes. His opponent will be college instructor Judy Hanna (D), who got 15.527 votes in the Democratic primary. Judy Hanna - had an opponent in a contentious primary, who got 11.667 votes. A combined 27.194 Democratic votes. Also in this race, some more Democratic votes are understandable, as the primary was competitive, but there were almost twice as many Democratic votes as vote for the incumbant. Not that bad, I would say.
The 27th senate district contains the northwestern part of Summit County, which went 56,7%/42,9% for John Kerry (here no district-wide information either). Those parts of Summit County belong in smaller parts to the 17th CD of Rep. LaTourette, who has only token opposition, and to the 17th district of Rep. Ryan, who is totally unopposed. The biggest part once more belongs to the open 13th district, which Betty Sutton should retain from Sherrod Brown.
It seems to be extremely difficult to fundraise on a state level against an incumbant, as all challengers have great disadvantages in CoH, Sen. Coughlin has 45.554,31 $, Judy Hanna has 3.575,99 $.
The next possibly competitive district is the 29th district currently held by Sen. Kirk Schuring (R). He won in 2002 with 57,8%/42,2%. In the primary he was unopposed and got 24.839 votes. His opponent will be Thomas West (no HP!), who gott 23.397 votes in another unopposed primary race. As I said the primaries were largely overshadowed by the gubernatorial race between SoS Blackwell and AG Petro for the Republican nomination without a counterpart on the democratic side. I think that numbers bode well for the general election.
The 29th district contains most of Stark County which Kerry won with 50,6%/48,9%. Stark County belongs to the 16th districts of Rep. Regula (R). He doesn't face serious opposition in november. Turnout relies on the statewide races for Gov. and Sen., hopefully Democrats will try to turn-out their base in Stark County.
Without a website or any other information about Thomas West it's extremely difficult to decide whether he is a serious candidate, but the number of his votes in the primary seems to indicate he is. Moneywise, Sen. Schuring has 35.507,46 $ CoH, Thoas West has 2.199,38 $.
Another possible pick-up is the race in the 3rd SD held by Sen. David Goodman (R). He won in 2002 with 56,8%/43,2%. In the primary, he got 20.860 votes unopposed. His Democratic opponent is Emily Kreider, who was unopposed as well and got 14.014 votes. Emily Kreider - is a business woman in the social services sector. She is pro-life and has some links to the chamber of commerce, on the other hand has lots of union support. I think her resume sounds pretty impressive, even if her website looks less so.
The 3rd SD contains the eastern part of Franklin County, which went for John Kerry with 54,5%/45,2%. The district mostly belongs to the 12th congressional district held by Rep. Tiberi. While Rep. Tiberi himself doesn't face an all that strong challenge, Franklin County is the home of County Commissioner Mary Jo Kilroy, who runs against Rep. Pryce in one of the most watched congressional races in Ohio in the 15th CD. Next to that, the Democratic candidates for statewide races should heavily rely on turnout in Franklin County (Columbus).
Sen. Goodman has 36.624,02 $ CoH, Emily Kreider has 2.802,22 $.
Only marginally competitive and a possible pick-up only in the case of a huge Democratic wave seems to be the 17th SD of Sen. John Carey Jr. (R). He won in 2002 with 53,9%/46,1%. In the primary he was unopposed and got 20.195 votes. His opponent will be April Howland, who got 12.043 votes in an uncontested primary. April Howland doesn't have a website, all I know is that she is from Chillicothe in Ross County.
The 17th SD contains of the eatern part of Lawrence County, the western parts of Pickaway County and Clinton, Fayette, Gallia, Highland, Jackson, Pike, Ross and Vinton Counties. Bush won Lawrence County with 55,8%/43,7%, Pickaway with 62,0%/37,5% and the rest of the district with 60,3%/39%. So this should be solid Republican territory. Parts of the district belong to the 2nd CD of Rep. Schmidt (you know her), the 3rd CD of Rep. Turner and the 7th CD of Rep. Hobson. Other parts belong to the in 2006 highly competitive 6th and 18th CD of Rep. Strickland, who runs for Governor, and Rep. Ney (you know him as well). These races and Sen. Carey's moderate winning margin in 2002 are the only reasons this race is listed here.
Moneywise, it seems to become a blowout, Sen. Carey has 107.498,01 $, no information about April Howland. Sen. Carey comes from Jackson County, which is part of Bob Ney's district. Perhaps his coming successor?
Even in what seems to become a Democratic year, we have to play defense as well. The only district that seems to be competitive on the Democratic side is the 5th SD currently held by Sen. Tom Roberts. He won in 2002 with 52,5%/47,5%. In the uncontested primary, the Assistant Minority Whip got 11.473 votes. His opponent Trotwood Mayor Donald McLaurin (R) got 11.185 votes. Both candidates are african-american, the city of Tretwood, where both candidates reside, is >80% african-american.
The 5th SD contains of Miami County (Bush 65,7%/34%), the southeastern part of Darke County (Bush 69,5%/29,8%) and the northeatern part of Montgomery County (Kerry 50,6%/49,0%). Obviously Montgomery county is the base for Sen. Roberts, the Republicans found a candidate who could cut into that base. The 5th SD belongs to the 8th CD of Majority Leader Boehner.
Moneywise, Sen. Roberts has 84.145,62 $ CoH, I have no information about Mayor McLaurin.
Given the current political climate esp. in Ohio, we should win at least one seante seats from the Republicans. Three to four other seats are in play. We won't take the Ohio state senate in this general election, but with a good performance this year, we could do it in 2008, when there are 13 Republican and only 4 Democratic seats in play.
But our candidates are in serious need for money. Most are almost broke where 10k $ should make them competitive.
For the rest of this story and some interesting comments/discussion follow this link.
Tags:[ohio], [lorain], [Emily Kreider]