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December Legislative Update

Election Wrap-up

Kelly Vyzral, Director of Government Affairs

Election Wrap-up
On November 2, 2004 Ohioans went to the polls in record numbers to cast their vote for elected offices for all levels of government from President of the United States to President of City Council. I hope that all of you exercised your right and responsibility to have your voice heard.

With the election comes a new state legislature. Some familiar faces will return, and they will be joined by some new names and faces. Please take the time to make yourself familiar with your state representative, state senator, Congressperson and U.S. senator.

What will our state legislature look like in 2005?

State Legislature
The 2004 election saw the minority Democrats gain three seats in the Ohio House of Representatives; however, Republicans still hold a 59 to 40 majority.

Changes in the Ohio House are as follows:

* 93rd House District Nancy Hollister (R-Marietta) was defeated by Jennifer Garrison, an attorney

* 41st House District Marilyn Slaby (R-Akron), who was appointed to finish out the term of Bryan Williams, was defeated by Brian Williams, the former Akron City Schools superintendent, by a 268 vote margin. This race will be subject to a mandatory recount.

* 64th House District Dan Sferra (D-Warren) was defeated by Randy Law, a manager and small business owner.

The Democrats also picked up two seats in Lake County currently held by term-limited Republicans.

* 62nd House District currently held by Jamie Callender (R-Willowick) was won by Democrat Lorraine Fende, Willowick mayor.

* 63rd House District currently held by Ron Young (R-Painesville) was won by Tim Cassell, a union carpenter.

The political make-up of the Ohio Senate stayed the same and the Republicans hold onto a 22 to 11 majority.

The House and Senate will lose their Speaker and President respectively, at the end of this General Assembly.

Members of each caucus have named their new leadership teams for the upcoming 126th General Assembly.

House Republicans

* Speaker: Jon Husted (R-Kettering)

* Speaker Pro Tempore: Chuck Blasdel (R- East Liverpool)

* Majority Floor Leader: Merle Kearns (R-Springfield)

* Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Larry Flowers (R-Canal Winchester)

* Majority Whip: Kevin DeWine (R-Fairborn)

* Assistant Majority Whip: Jim Carmichael (R-Wooster)

Rep. Charles Calvert (R-Medina) will return as chairman of the House Finance & Appropriations Committee.

House Democrats

* Minority Leader: Chris Redfern

* Assistant Minority Leader: Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus)

* Minority Whip: Steve Driehaus (D-Cincinnati)

* Assistant Minority Whip: Lance Mason (D-Shaker Heights)

Rep. Dale Miller (D-Cleveland) has been named ranking minority member on the Finance & Appropriations Committee.

Senate Republicans

* Senate President: Bill Harris (R-Ashland)

* President Pro Tem: Jeff Jacobson (R-Dayton)

* Assistant President Pro Tempore: Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green)

* Majority Whip: Bob Spada (R-North Middletown)

* Steve Austria (R-Beavercreek)

* Jay Hottinger (R-Newark)

Senator John Carey (R-Wellston) is the current vice chairman of the Finance & Financial Institutions Committee and former chairman of the House Finance Committee.

Senate Democrats

* Minority Leader: C.J. Prentiss (D-Cleveland)

* Assistant Minority Leader: Mark Mallory (D-Cincinnati)

* Minority Whip: Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo)

* Assistant Minority Whip: Bob Hagan (D-Youngstown)

Supreme Court Wrap-up
Republicans expanded their political and philosophical control of the Ohio Supreme Court, winning all three contested seats, including one now held by a retiring Democrat. Republicans now have a 5 to 2 majority on the court. After January 1, there will be only one Democrat left, Justice Alice Resnick of Toledo, who also will be the only Democratic statewide officeholder in Ohio.

Gov. Taft praised the make-up of the Supreme Court in January, as one that will be a more business-friendly court, one that interprets the law and does not legislate from the bench

Republican Chief Justice Thomas Moyer defeated retired Cleveland Municipal Court Judge C. Ellen Connally to win election to a fourth six-year term. At its completion, he will be the second-longest serving chief justice in the court’s history.

In the other two contested court races:

* Republican Appellate Judge Judith Lanzinger of Toledo defeated Democratic Common Pleas Judge Nancy Fuerst of Cleveland

* Appointed Republican Justice Terrence O'Donnell of Cleveland defeated Appellate Judge William O'Neill

* Republican Justice Paul Pfeifer ran unopposed in his bid for re-election

Judge Lanzinger, who currently serves on the 6th Ohio District Court of Appeals, succeeds Democratic Justice Francis Sweeney of Cleveland who could not seek re-election because of age limits.

Congressional Wrap-up
All U.S. House members won their races, preserving the 12 to 6 split among Republicans and Democrats in the state’s congressional delegation. Ohio's U.S. House delegation in the 109th Congress will be:

1st District: Steve Chabot (R-Cincinnati)

2nd District: Rob Portman (R-Cincinnati)

3rd District: Michael Turner (R-Dayton)

4th District: Michael Oxley (R-Findlay)

5th District: Paul Gillmor (R-Old Fort)

6th District: Ted Strickland (D-Lisbon)

7th District: David Hobson (R-Springfield)

8th District: John Boehner (R-West Chester)

9th District: Marcy Kaptur (D-Toledo)

10th District: Dennis Kucinich (D-Cleveland)

11th District: Stephanie Tubbs Jones (D-Cleveland)

12th District: Pat Tiberi (R-Columbus)

13th District: Sherrod Brown (D-Akron)

14th District: Steven LaTourette (R- Madison)

15th District: Deborah Pryce (R-Columbus)

16th District: Ralph Regula (R-Navarre)

17th District: Tim Ryan (D-Niles)

18th District: Bob Ney (R-St. Clairsville)

Ohio had one Senate race in play this year. Republican George V. Voinovich was re-elected to a second six-year term in the U.S. Senate when he defeated Democratic challenger Eric Fingerhut.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact Kelly Vyzral, Director of Government Affairs at 614.798.0037 or

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