Ohio House Republicans managed to increase their majority, picking up 5 seats from the Democrats, including the seat of Ohio Democratic Party leader Chris Redfern. By the end of the evening, Redfern announced his resignation as party chair. The Republicans will enjoy a 65 to 34 majority in the next session, an increase of 5 seats over their current 60 to 39 majority.
With the end of Speaker Bill Batchelder’s (R-Medina) four terms, the Republicans will be choosing a new Speaker in the 131st General Assembly. The contest for the job has been somewhat contentious - Representative Cliff Rosenburger (R-Clarksville) is seen as the leading candidate, but the party’s more conservative members have been vocally supporting Representative Jim Butler (R-Butler). Both Rosenburger and Butler are young and relative newcomers to state politics, a trend likely to become the new norm as term limits continue to impact our more experienced legislators.
None of the 17 Senate seats up for grabs changed party hands. All 14 incumbents won their races and several long-time legislators will be back. The Republicans had no trouble maintaining their majority of 23 to 10 Democrats. Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina) will have two more years in office before he faces term limits in 2016.