2014 Elections - What Does it Mean for CTE? By Terrence O’Donnell, Esq. Dickinson Wright, LLC and Ohio ACTE Legislative Counsel
As you have no doubt heard, the 2014 mid-term election was a so-called “wave election” for the Republican Party in Ohio as well as nationally. Given that the Governor and every non-judicial statewide officeholder was already Republican, this essentially means the incumbents were re-elected and that we will not see drastic changes to state government.
That said, with a resounding victory, Governor Kasich has new momentum and will no doubt roll out an ambitious and robust legislative agenda for 2015 (a budget year). Speculation will also increase that he will pursue the Presidency in 2016.
Likewise, the Republicans increased their already significant majorities in the Ohio General Assembly. At the federal level, Ohio’s US Senators were not on the ballot so did not factor into the US Senate’s change to Republican hands. Also, no incumbent Congressperson suffered a loss, so the US House delegation remains the same.
The following provides more detail on the impact of election results:
Governor and Statewide: All Republican statewide office incumbents won by large margins - keeping every statewide non-judicial office. Gov. Kasich’s opponent Ed FitzGerald conceded shortly after the polls closed, and the Governor and Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor ultimately retained their respective offices by an unofficial 64%–33% margin. All other Republican statewide office holders - Attorney General Mike DeWine, Auditor Dave Yost, Secretary of State John Husted, and Treasurer Josh Mandel - all defeated their Democratic challengers by comfortable margins.
Ohio General Assembly: Republicans also reached a high watermark with regard to their control over the Ohio General Assembly. Republican candidates defeated three incumbents and picked up another two open seats, expanding the party’s already commanding majority to 65–34 in the House. The Chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party was one of the three Democrat incumbents to lose his seat and he also resigned from his post by night’s end. In the Senate, meanwhile, Democrats maintained their 23-10 seat deficit.
Speaker of the Ohio House: Most observers believe that Rep. Cliff Rosenberger (R – Clinton County) will become the new Speaker of the House, replacing Rep. William G. Batchelder (R – Medina), whose service is term-limited. Rep. Rosenberger, currently serving in his second term in the House, is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and has experience working in the White House as Special Assistant to then-U.S. Secretary of Interior, Dirk Kempthorne.
With regard to career-technical education, Rep. Rosenberger played an essential role in carrying the adult education “one-year option” through the General Assembly last session, and he has family members have enrolled in CTE programs. For his work with CTE, Ohio ACTE Awarded him its Legislator of the Year award in 2013.
Supreme Court: The sweeping Republican victory also extended to the Ohio Supreme Court, where incumbent Justices Sharon Kennedy and Judith French held onto the two Ohio Supreme Court seats up for grabs Tuesday and thereby maintained the party’s 6-1 majority on the state’s high court. Outside groups spent millions on the races.
Ohio ACTE leadership has worked hard to ensure that CTE is a non-partisan issue in Ohio and nationally and will continue to ensure that we can be successful in any political environment. We know the political winds often shift, especially in a “purple” state like Ohio. As such, we will continue to work with both sides of the aisle to promote the interests of career-technical education and Ohio ACTE members.
Click Here for Statewide Election Results.