Polls remain open throughout Ohio until 7:30 p.m. for the primary election today.
Turnout could be low at the polls today, but stakes will be high, as Ohio voters decide which candidates advance to the November election in races that include governor, Congress and U.S. Senate. Some local voters will also decide on tax levies and county-level offices including judges and commissioners.
The Dayton Daily News will have complete coverage of election results Tuesday night on its website, DaytonDailyNews.com.
Officials anticipate low voter turnout. As of Sunday, about 2,700 people in Montgomery County had voted early in-person and about 5,000 absentee ballots were submitted by mail, Montgomery County Board of Elections Director Jeff Rezabek said.
“We are in the process of having all the precincts and polling locations set up,” he said Monday. “Our teams are out in force throughout the day and they will be back to do some finalizations at the board tonight. They will be up and ready to go …”
There are a few races that will not appear on Tuesday’s ballots. Races for Ohio Senate, Ohio House of Representatives and political party state central committee will be voted on later this year because district maps are still being debated.
Here are 10 races to keep an eye on Tuesday.
1) Ohio Governor, Democrats
Former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley and former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley are facing off for the Democratic nomination for governor. Whaley’s running mate is Cheryl Stephens, vice president of Cuyahoga County Council. Cranley’s running mate is state Sen. Teresa Fedor, D-Toledo.
Whaley served two four-year terms as a Dayton city commissioner before being elected mayor in 2013 and reelected in 2017. Cranley was elected to Cincinnati City Council and served from 2000 to 2009. Cranley won the Cincinnati mayor’s office in 2013 and was reelected in 2017.
2) Ohio Governor, Republicans
Incumbent Governor Mike Dewine is being challenged by three Republicans in May’s primary: Joe Blystone, Ron Hood and Jim Renacci.
Blystone, who founded Blystone Farm in 2004, has never run for office before. His running mate is fellow political novice Jeremiah Workman, an author, Marine Corps veteran and former IT worker.
Hood is running for governor on a ticket with former state Rep. Candice Keller. Hood served in the Ohio House of Representatives three times, from 1995-2000, then in 2005-06; and again from 2013 to 2020.
Renacci was mayor of Wadsworth in northeast Ohio from 2004 to 2008, then was elected to the U.S. House in 2010, serving until 2019. His running mate is Christian movie producer and motivational speaker Joe Knopp, who has no political experience.
DeWine, a Greene County resident, was county prosecutor there before a long run of state and federal posts — Ohio Senate, U.S. Congress, Ohio lieutenant governor, U.S. Senate, Ohio attorney general, and now governor. His running mate is current Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted, who previously served as Ohio’s Secretary of State.
3) U.S. Senate, Democrats
Rob Portman’s decision not to run for re-election created a crowded field in both parties. Three Democrats are running for their party’s nomination in the race for Senate — Columbus attorney Morgan Harper, Hilliard businesswoman Traci “TJ” Johnson, and Tim Ryan of Trumbull County, who is currently serving in the U.S. House.
4) U.S. Senate, Republicans
Seven Republicans are running for their party’s nomination in the race for Senate — Jane Timken, JD Vance, Matt Dolan, Mike Gibbons, Josh Mandel, Neil Patel and Mark Pukita will be on the ballot. The campaign has ranged from debate over the economy, education and foreign policy, to insults and a near physical confrontation between Mandel and Gibbons.
5) U.S. Congressional races
In the 10th District, Democrats Kirk Benjamin, David Esrati, Jeff Hardenbrook and Baxter Stapleton are running to see who will face Mike Turner in November.
In the 8th District, incumbent Republican Warren Davidson faces a primary challenge from Phil Heimlich.
In the 4th District, Democrats Jeff Stites and Tami Wilson are running to challenge Republican Jim Jordan in November.
6) Republican Secretary of State
Incumbent Secretary of State Frank LaRose is being primaried by challenger John Adams. The winner of that election will face Democrat Chelsea Clark, who will be on the Democratic ballot Tuesday but does not have an opponent.
7) Montgomery County Commission, Republicans
Rennes Bowers, who worked for the Dayton Fire Department for 30 years, and Jordan Wortham, who worked for the Dayton Police Department for seven years, are running for a spot on the board of the Montgomery County Commission. The winner of the primary will run against incumbent Carolyn Rice in November.
8) Common Pleas Judge, Democrats
Democrats Angelina Jackson and Jacqueline Gaines are running for a chance to become a judge on the Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. The winner of the race Tuesday will compete in November against Robert Hanseman for a six-year term.
9) Beavercreek income tax
Beavercreek residents will decide whether to approve a 1% income tax that would replace five property tax levies. The city is one of very few in Ohio that currently have no local income tax.
Opponents of the income tax say that the measure puts undue strain on younger generations, while proponents say that without it, the city’s current funding model is unsustainable.
10) Trotwood income tax
Trotwood voters will decide on a five-year, 0.5% income tax increase for road improvements. The five-year increase, from 2.25% to 2.75% would generate an extra $1 million per year if approved, according to Deputy City Manager Stephanie Kellum.
Before you vote today: Visit DaytonDailyNews.com/elections for Voter Guide answers straight from the candidates, as well as dozens of news stories about races and issues on the ballot.
Tonight after voting ends: Visit DaytonDailyNews.com for all live election results, including races for governor and U.S. Senate, as well as tax levies that affect your wallet and local services.
About the Author
Parker Perry is the public safety and criminal justice reporter at the Dayton Daily News.