BY D’ARCY EGAN
The Republican Party made a clean sweep of the 2020 elections in Ottawa County this week, a “Red Wave” many could see coming.
President Donald Trump was the pick of Ottawa County voters in 2016, and in 2018 county voters approved Don Douglas of Oak Harbor for county commissioner, joining Republican commissioners Mark Stahl and Mark Coppeler.
The trio became the very first all-Republican board of commissioners in the history of Ottawa County.
The tight Republican grip on Ottawa County politics continued on Nov. 3, as Stahl and Coppeler were re-elected, despite strong opposition from Gary Quisno and Randy Schiets. Republicans had little trouble winning the other Ottawa County races.
Nathan J. Daniels (County Recorder) and Anthony L. Hatmaker (County Treasurer) were easy winners. Sheriff Stephen J. Levorchick, Prosecutor James VanEerten and County Engineer Ronald P. Lajti Jr., who are all independents, were unopposed.
Republicans dominated races all around Ohio, despite the Joe Biden/Kamala Harris presidential ticket winning in the national election.
In Ottawa County, voters overwhelmingly approved the Donald Trump/Michael Pence ticket for the second time, helping Trump win Ohio again. It was the same county that gave a strong nod to President Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012.
In the past, it would seem to be in the DNA of Ottawa County residents to correctly back the presidential candidate who wins Ohio, no matter the political party. Voters here had been a bellwether indicator of the presidential winner since 1960, including 2016, when the Ohio windmill did a 180-degree turn and approved Trump.
Last week, Trump easily took Ottawa County with 14,285 (60.7%) votes to Biden’s 8,847 (37.6%). Trump won 82 of Ohio’s 88 counties with 3.07 million votes, or 53.4%. Biden had 45.2%, with 2.6 million votes. Democratic Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur of Toledo has represented Ohio’s Ninth Congressional District since 1983, is the longest serving woman in the history of the U.S. House of Representatives, and ranks among the most senior members of the 116th Congress. While she lost Ottawa County this time around to Rob Weber (7,010-5,549), Kaptur easily won re-election, 184,367-108,085, a 63-37 margin.
Although both were appointees and running for their new offices for the first time, D.J. Swearingen (State Representative, 89th District) of Huron and Theresa Gavarone (State Senator, 2nd District) of Bowling Green coasted.
Bob Latta, a Republican state representative from the 5th District of the Ohio House, rolled over Nick Rubando, 251,713-118,245, a 68-32 margin.
The only hiccup was among the races for the Ohio Supreme Court. While Ottawa County and Ohio voters approved Sharon L Kennedy, a Republican, it was Democrat Jennifer Brunner who dunked Judi French both in Ottawa County and around the state.
Ohio’s House will now be overwhelmingly Republican, 61-39, with no hope of stopping the gerrymandering around Ohio.
There were some very puzzling results. Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder from southern Ohio’s Perry County, lambasted far and wide after being indicted on federal racketeering charges in connection with Davis-Bessie’s HB6 legislation, won election by an overwhelming 71-29 percentage in the 72nd House District, which is east of Columbus.