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Democrats Win Ohio Supreme Court Seat, Republicans Make Gains In Legislature

The Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on March 26, 2020.
Ryan Hitchcock
The Ohio Statehouse in downtown Columbus on March 26, 2020.

Election Night 2020 was a bad night for Democrats and brought wins for Republicans on Ohio’s Capitol Square. However, the parties split two Ohio Supreme Court races.

In unofficial results reported by the Secretary of State's office, Democrat Jennifer Brunner beat Republican Justice Judi French, giving Democrats three seats on the Ohio Supreme Court for the first time since 1993. Republican Justice Sharon Kennedy won the other race, defeating Democrat John O’Donnell.

Republicans lost five Ohio House districts overall in 2018, but could pick up three this time – winning two Democratic seats that were open. Republican Mike Loychik beat incumbent Democrat Gil Blair of Niles, in an area that went solidly for President Trump in 2016.

Trump's performance in the Mahoning Valley was even stronger this time, as he won Mahoning County, which Hillary Clinton won four years ago.

In the Ohio Senate, incumbent Democrat Sean O’Brien is losing to Republican Sandra O’Brien, but the race has not been called yet by the Associated Press. She had run for treasurer in 2018, but lost in the GOP primary to Robert Sprague. She also challenged Jon Husted in the Republican primary for Secretary of State in 2010.

With that win, Republicans now dominate in the Senate 25-8. The GOP's supermajority strengthens in the House with 64 Republicans and 35 Democrats.