Features: Guide to Voting in Ohio

Midterm elections are coming up, and they’re looking to be pretty spooky for some. To help provide you with some quick information on the statewide election, here’s a preview of who’s running, what the job entails and what’s going to be on the ballot when you go into the voting booth on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Governor and Lieutenant Governor

What does the job entail?

As the governor and lieutenant governor run on one ticket, they have been lumped together for simplicity’s sake. The governor is the face of the state, is in charge of signing or vetoing bills that come across their desk, proposes the state’s budget and can appoint all state department directors. The lieutenant governor doesn’t have any real responsibilities other than assuming the office of the governor if they leave suddenly but are typically placed as a state department director.

Who’s running?


Richard Cordray (Democrat)

  • Betty Sutton as Lieutenant Governor
  • Cordray is the former Director of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and Sutton is a former U.S. Representative
  • Cordray won Jeopardy five times
  • Want to have more watchdogs in the healthcare industry to make sure people aren’t taken advantage of


Mike DeWine (Republican)

  • John Husted as Lieutenant Governor
  • Current Attorney General (DeWine) and Secretary of State (Husted)
  • DeWine has held elected positions for 42 years
  • Want to add a work requirement for recipients of Medicaid

United States Senator

What does the job entail?

There are two senators from each state, and they work to create new federal laws. They also vote on approving or rejecting Supreme Court nominees and have the authority to conduct impeachment trials.

Who’s running?


Sherrod Brown (Democrat)

  • Incumbent Senator since 2006 and previously spent seven terms in the U.S. House of Representatives
  • Helped write the Affordable Care Act
  • Backpacked across India after graduating from college


Jim Renacci (Republican)

  • Ohio’s 16th District Congressional Representative since 2010
  • Promises to serve no more than two terms in the Senate
  • One of the 10 richest members of Congress

Attorney General

What does the job entail?

The Attorney General is the state’s lawyer and is in charge of making sure that laws are enforced according to the administration’s priorities. They are also in charge of collecting all debts owed to the state, such as student loans, and coordinating with law enforcement agencies across the state.

Who’s running?


Steve Dettelbach (Democrat)

  • A prosecutor since 1992 who has spent decades prosecuting corrupt politicians and the people who bribe them
  • Previously worked for the Department of Justice to investigate KKK violence in Texas
  • Handled one of Ohio’s first human trafficking cases


Dave Yost (Republican)

  • Current Ohio State Auditor and former Delaware County Auditor and Prosecuting Attorney
  • Talks about being tougher on crime in Ohio
  • Endorsed by the NRA and Ohio Right to Life

Secretary of State

What does the job entail?

The Secretary of State is in charge of running all election-related business, holding the position of the Chief Election Officer. They’re also in charge of keeping records of business registrations and campaign finances.

Who’s running?

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Kathleen Clyde (Democrat)

  • Current state representative for Ohio’s 75th district
  • Previously introduced legislation for automatic voter registration
  • Wants to expand early voting days and hours

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Frank LaRose (Republican)

  • Current state senator for Ohio’s 27th district and former U.S. Army Special Forces member
  • Introduced legislation for online voter registration in Ohio
  • Says protecting voting sites overseas inspired his care for voting rights

Issue One

What is it?

It’s a constitutional amendment that would change low-level, non-violent drug offenses from felonies to misdemeanors. This means that it would affect possession of drugs, possession of drug paraphernalia and drug usage. It would also make it easier for currently incarcerated people to get out of prison sooner by allowing up to a 25 percent sentence reduction in exchange for participating in betterment programs, such as drug and alcohol rehabilitation, as opposed to the currently allowed eight percent.

Why should I care?

This issue was originally an initiative that received more than 700,000 signatures to make it onto the ballot as Issue One. The initiative, which started out under the name “Safe and Healthy Ohio,” was created by a group of non-profits working together as the Ohio Organizing Collaborative in an attempt to enact change in the criminal justice system.

By: Kevin Thomas | Managing Editor