Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost speaks at the Ohio Republican Party’s election night event Tuesday. Photo: Susan Tebben, OCJ
Republican incumbents won the day in races for Ohio’s attorney general, secretary of state, auditor, and treasurer, according to unofficial general election results.
Attorney General Dave Yost fought back attacks for his role in the abortion ban now indefinitely blocked in Ohio, and reports of a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled out of state for an abortion to come up with the win in Tuesday’s unofficial results.
“It turns out that democracy, after all, is alive and well,” Yost told supporters at the Ohio Republican Party election night gathering Tuesday night.
Even as the unofficial results showed his reelection, Yost brought up future elections.
“Let’s remember as we govern that ours is the burden of persuasion,” Yost said. “As we exercise the power, there will be another election … and that election will be a referendum on the work we’re about to do.”
With 98% of the vote totaled, Yost held a nearly 840,000 vote lead over Democratic challenger and former state Rep. Jeffrey Crossman.
Yost has been serving as state attorney general since 2019, previously serving as state auditor.
In the last year, Yost quickly took to federal court in the hours following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, moving to institute a 2019 law that banned abortion after six weeks gestation. He was successful, as the court nearly immediately released the law from the political tangle it had been in since the Ohio legislature passed it, but a Hamilton County Court has since held the law up as abortion clinics challenge the legality of it once again.
Yost joined in on a Republican leadership push to question the credibility of an Indiana doctor, who said she had conducted an abortion on a 10-year-old rape victim who couldn’t receive an abortion after the law was implemented in the state.
Yost has also been a part of a lawsuit with fellow state attorneys general pushing back against Biden-administration changes to anti-discrimination laws that would include gender identity as part of the language.
Crossman had pledge to defend reproductive rights and abortion care. In conceding the race as midnight approached, he said the work to improve Ohio would continue.
“Make no mistake, we view the results of this race as a setback for Ohioans but one we can overcome if we continue to engage in democracy — by voting, running for office, and opposing the rising divisions and extremism undermining the fabric of our country which holds us together,” Crossman said in a statement.
Secretary of State
Republican Secretary of State Frank LaRose strolled to victory over two opponents, Democrat Chelsea Clark and independent candidate Terpsehore “Tore” Maras.
With 98% of precincts counted, LaRose had 59.7% of the vote, Clark held 39.2% and Maras came in with just above 1%.
“As Ohio’s Secretary of State, my job is to keep elections honest, and that’s exactly what we did,” LaRose said at the Ohio GOP event at the Renaissance Hotel on Tuesday. “The people of Ohio have spoken.”
On how Election Day went for LaRose’s office, the reelected secretary of state said Ohio “continues to be a role model for the rest of the nation.”
LaRose has been secretary of state since 2019, and has been vocal in simultaneously claiming victory over election fraud, while also boasting what a rarity the issue is in the state.
He also spent the last year on the Ohio Redistricting Commission, voting to adopt five legislative maps and two congressional maps, all of which were found unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, but were also the maps used in Tuesday’s election.
LaRose successfully urged the Ohio Legislature to extend the deadline for overseas and military voters after the redistricting process overlapped with the usual deadlines.
He was also a party in a federal court lawsuit that led to the use of a legislative map adopted in February by the commission as the district map for statehouse candidates in the general election.
Judges on the panel decided that the map could be used for the 2022 election cycle — and only the 2022 election cycle — because LaRose and his staff said that map had already been input by county boards of elections, therefore would be easiest to implement on a short timeline.
One of his opponents, Maras, who denied the validity of the 2020 presidential election and has espoused QAnon ideas on her podcast, was put on the ballot after the Ohio Supreme Court overruled LaRose’s objections. LaRose said Maras hadn’t obtained enough valid signatures to be put on the ballot, a claim that was rejected by the state’s highest court.
Democratic candidate Clark, a financial analyst, teacher, and former Forest Park City Council member, ran on promises to end voter purges, expand automatic voter registration, and streamline small business services in the SOS office.
Neither Clark nor Maras made statements Tuesday on the results.
Incumbent Auditor of State Keith Faber also won his reelection bid against his Democratic challenger, Nelsonville City Auditor Taylor Sappington.
With more than 98% of the precincts reporting, Faber held a 59% to 40.8% lead over Sappington.
“I’m honored by the support the people of Ohio have placed in me. I am proud of the work we have done and look forward to continuing to serve,” Faber said in a Tuesday night statement.
Faber, also a former president of the Ohio Senate, has been state auditor since 2019.
Faber also served on the Ohio Redistricting Commission, standing as the only GOP member to vote against any of the maps proposed to the commission. The GOP majority on the commission was strong enough that his “no” votes didn’t turn the tables. He said he voted against one set of legislative maps because he wasn’t confident they’d hold up in court. He also said he voted against a set of maps because he was trying to avoid a Democratic gerrymander just as strongly as advocacy groups and Democrats were trying to fight against a Republican gerrymander.
Sappington said he was proud of the race and to have been an openly LGBTQ statewide candidate running for office.
“We deserve leadership that looks and sounds and comes from places that everyone else in Ohio comes from and sounds like,” Sappington said. “I have no regrets about doing my part.”
Incumbent Republican Treasurer Robert Sprague also survived a midterm challenge, defeating Democrat Scott Schertzer on Tuesday, with 59% of the vote in unofficial results.
“Tomorrow, we’re going to continue to live out our values as the Republican ticket,” Sprague said on Tuesday night. “But we’re going to include Democrats and independents in our common and shared values and vision for the state of Ohio.”
Schertzer could not be reached for comment.
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