Wednesday, November 3, 2004

Ohio Republicans aim to maintain grip in House, Senate

By Andrew Welsh-Huggins
The Associated Press

COLUMBUS - Republicans hoped to keep or even extend their dominance of the House and Senate on Tuesday while Democrats looked to regain additional seats.

Republicans hold a 62-37 edge in the House, where all 99 seats were up for grabs, and a 22-11 majority in the Senate, where half the seats were being contested.

Early Wednesday, GOP incumbents were re-elected to 33 seats in House races with reported winners, while Republican candidates took two open seats formerly held by GOP lawmakers.

Democrats picked up at least one seat, with Willowick Mayor Lorraine Fende's win in the district of Rep. Jamie Callender, a Republican who stepped down because of term limits.

In early, unofficial returns, Republicans had the edge in most area state legislative races.

Republican incumbent Shawn Webster, 54, R-Hanover Township, defeated Scott Siebel, 22, D-Oxford, for the District 53 seat with 32,213 votes to 16,604 votes with 100 percent of 103 precincts reporting.

In District 55, Bill Coley, 44, R-West Chester Township, easily got by Tyrone Sims, 36, D-West Chester Township, with 36,809 votes to 15,589 votes with all 93 precincts reporting.

Democrat Tyrone Yates bucked the GOP trend. Yates, 50, of East Walnut Hills, was the projected winner over Republican Tom Jones to retain his District 33 House seat. Yates was leading 70 percent to 30 percent with 55 percent of 128 precincts tallied.

In state Senate races, Republican Gary Cates was the winner in District 4, while fellow GOP members Patricia Clancy and Tom Niehaus held big leads in District 8 and District 14, respectively, early Wednesday.

Cates, 48, of West Chester Township, defeated Democrat Melvin Smith, 49, of Hanover Township, with 95,856 votes to 49,914 votes with all 289 precincts reporting.

Clancy, 54, R-Colerain Township, was leading over Democrat Jeannette Harrison, 63, of Springfield Township, 66 percent to 34 percent with 157 of 412 precincts reporting.

And Niehaus, 53, R-New Richmond, was ahead of Paul Schwietering, 45, D-Union Township in Clermont County, 66 percent to 34 percent with 324 of 409 precincts reporting.

District 28 incumbent Republican Jim Raussen, 33, Springdale, was leading Democrat Wayne Coates, 56, Forest Park, 58 percent to 42 percent with 39 percent of 139 precincts counted.

Danny Bubp, 50, R-West Union, also was ahead of Democrat Cy Richardson, 63, Monroe Township, in the District 88 House race. With 116 of 129 precincts reporting, Bubp led 62 percent to 38 percent.

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