Editorial Roundup: Ohio

Toledo Blade. March 20, 2024.

Editorial: Ohio still battleground

The primary election results on Tuesday night have set the stage for northwest Ohio campaigns that will do much to decide leadership of both the U.S. House and Senate and have kept Toledo’s city finances dependably stable.

Toledo voters wisely approved renewal of two tax levies worth about $100 million to the city. Police and fire forces receive the lion’s share of Issue 1 funding of 0.75 percent while the 0.25 percent tax for road repairs is covered by Issue 2.

Lucas County voters were prudent to approve Issue 8 and a small increase in property taxes to support mental health services. The demand for this assistance is rising rapidly as untreated mental health issues bring drug and alcohol abuse, crime, and family breakdowns.

In the Lucas County Commissioners Democratic primary, voters kept two longtime local elected officials in their current positions. Former Auditor Anita Lopez won the nomination for the seat she has been appointed to, while state Sen. Paula Hicks-Hudson will continue to serve Lucas County voters in Columbus. Voters showed good sense with this decision.

The nationally important primary in northwest Ohio was the 9th District Republican race won by state Rep. Derek Merrin of Monclova Township. U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur is seeking a record-setting 22nd term, but the district is one of just five in the nation won by Donald Trump but represented in Congress by a Democrat.

Mr. Merrin won with the endorsement of Mr. Trump and the financial support of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Ms. Kaptur may be vulnerable but she is also venerable and has seniority power unmatched by any Ohio member of Congress. Both political parties consider the Kaptur-Merrin race to be crucial to deciding who is the House speaker in 2025.

The same majority-deciding status applies to the U.S. Senate race between three-term incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown and Trump-endorsed Cleveland car dealer Bernie Moreno. GOP voters unwisely rejected the solid record of conservative governance of state Sen. Matt Dolan in favor of someone who endorsed the stolen election lies of Mr. Trump.

Senate Democrats craftily spent nearly $3 million on ads to nominate Mr. Moreno, believing he will be the easiest to beat in November. Mr. Brown is the only statewide nonjudicial Democratic office holder. If Mr. Trump wins Ohio for the third consecutive election, as he is widely expected to do, Mr. Brown will have an exceptionally difficult climate in which to win. Washington Democrats may well regret helping a total Trump puppet defeat a reasonable Republican like Mr. Dolan.


Youngstown Vindicator. March 19, 2024.

Editorial: 11 Ohio counties in need of help after big storms

As Gov. Mike DeWine declares a state of emergency in 11 Ohio counties after last week’s terrible storms, it is a reminder that Buckeye State residents are struggling to recover and need our support.

Those living in Auglaize, Crawford, Darke, Delaware, Hancock, Licking, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Richland and Union counties were hit by disastrous weather that spawned an EF-3 tornado. It left three dead in Logan County.

DeWine’s declaration can clear the Ohio National Guard to go in and assist with the recovery effort — mostly cleaning up debris on public property. But the families in those counties need more.

The American Red Cross has set up an emergency shelter in Logan County. Volunteers there will help residents who seek shelter, food and other assistance. Fire districts, chambers of commerce, churches and other organizations (the United Way is a wonderful place to start) throughout the region are accepting donations.

They need a broad range of items: from carbon monoxide detectors, batteries, tarps and small heaters to diapers, blankets, clothing, toiletries and food.

Monetary donations should go to reputable agencies such as the Red Cross or the United Way — don’t get scammed while you’re trying to help.

“Fran and I are deeply saddened by those impacted by the tornadoes and severe storms,” DeWine said last week. “We share the grief of the families who lost loved ones, homes, and livelihoods. Ohioans will come together as they always do with resilience and compassion as we support and rebuild our communities.”

Indeed, they will. Many Valley residents who remember the devastating 1985 tornadoes know all too well what it is like in the days after such a disaster. They will surely be ready to lend a hand, too.

Our neighbors need us, folks. If you can help, please do.


Elyria Chronicle. March 21, 2024.

Editorial: Decisive wins defined primary election

Democrats and former President Donald Trump rarely want the same thing.

Yet both were probably pleased Tuesday when Westlake businessman Bernie Moreno won the Republican primary, pitting him against U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Cleveland, in November.

Of course, Trump and the Democratic super PAC that waded into the contentious GOP primary last week wanted Moreno to prevail for different reasons.

Trump endorsed Moreno because he wanted someone loyal to him, and Moreno has promised not to disappoint.

Democrats wanted Moreno to win because they viewed him as the weakest opponent for Brown in the general election, which explains why Duty and Country, the Democratic super PAC, reserved around $2.7 million in ads in the waning days of the campaign in a bid to boost Moreno.

Although framed as an attack ad — it called Moreno “too conservative for Ohio” — the piece was clearly aimed at pushing him across the finish line ahead of state Sen. Matt Dolan, R-Chagrin Falls, and Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose. (Polls routinely showed Dolan, widely viewed as the most moderate of the three conservative candidates, outperforming his GOP rivals in a head-to-head matchup against Brown.)

“Moreno would lead the charge to enact Trump’s MAGA agenda to repeal Obamacare and institute a national ban on abortion,” the ad’s narrator warned.

That’s exactly the sort of message many GOP primary voters wanted to hear.

Although Trump’s endorsement was the key factor in Moreno’s win Tuesday, Duty and Country’s ads probably helped. Unofficial election results showed Moreno winning almost 51 percent of the vote statewide compared to Dolan’s nearly 33 percent and LaRose’s almost 17 percent.

The results were roughly similar in Lorain County, where Moreno took almost 52 percent of the vote, while Dolan received nearly 35 percent. LaRose trailed with a little more than 13 percent.

It also bears noting that President Joe Biden, a Democrat, outperformed Trump on Tuesday in their respective primaries. Biden took just over 87 percent of the vote statewide and 86.3 percent in the county against Dean Phillips, a little-known congressman from Minnesota.

Trump, meanwhile, won both statewide and in the county. He picked up nearly 78.5 percent of the vote in the contest for at-large delegates in the county and nearly 75 percent in the district delegate contest. Statewide, he won the at-large delegate contest with 79.2 percent. For the district that includes Lorain County, he won with almost 76.8 percent of the vote. (Republicans, unlike Democrats, vote for both at-large and congressional district-level delegates to their party’s convention.)

This showed that while there are still pockets of party voters unhappy with both Biden and Trump, the problem, such as it is, is more pronounced on the GOP side.

Anyway, Ohio’s Senate race wasn’t the first time Democrats have meddled in a GOP primary with an eye toward pushing a candidate they perceived as weaker into the general election. For instance, in the race for Pennsylvania governor two years ago, they helped elevate GOP candidate Doug Mastriano, who went on to lose the general election to now-Gov. Josh Shapiro, a Democrat.

Yes, the tactic has worked in battleground states such as Pennsylvania, but that doesn’t mean it will work in Ohio, which has morphed from a swing state into a reliably Republican one. Brown is one of the most vulnerable Democrats seeking reelection this year. If he loses, Democrats will rue helping Moreno.

It also wouldn’t surprise us if some local Democrats had been rooting for Lorain County Commissioner Michelle Hung to prevail against Avon Lake businessman Marty Gallagher, her opponent in the GOP primary.

Hung was vulnerable thanks in large part to having been caught having an affair with a subordinate in 2021. She also was involved in a long-running feud with her fellow Republican commissioner, Dave Moore.

Gallagher crushed Hung, winning nearly 69.2 percent of the vote compared to Hung’s roughly 30.8 percent. Moore, who had come in for attacks because of his handling of a new public-safety radio system, won his own primary with around 60.6 percent of the vote. His opponent, Hung’s administrative assistant, Matthew Spears, received around 39.4 percent.

Spears was a relatively unknown candidate, but he outperformed Hung, highlighting just how much political damage, much of it self-inflicted, she had sustained.

Moore will face Democrat Brian Baker, who was unopposed in his primary in November, while Gallagher will square off with Lorain City Councilman Tony Dimacchia, D-at large. Dimacchia won just shy of 39.9 percent of the vote in a four-way Democratic primary. He performed especially well in Lorain, the county’s largest city and a Democratic stronghold. In his hometown, he received more votes than all three of the other candidates combined.

Former Sheffield Village Councilwoman Carolyn White, who finished second with almost 32.6 percent of the vote, won in a handful of communities, including Sheffield.

In the race to replace retiring county Sheriff Phil Stammitti, a Democrat, Rich Resendez handily won the Democratic primary against Sheriff’s Capt. Rick Thomas, a former North Ridgeville police chief. Resendez won about 59.7 percent of the vote compared to Thomas’ roughly 40.3 percent. In the fall he’ll face Republican Jack Hall, who ran unopposed in the GOP primary.

Resendez went into the race with a solid base in Lorain, where he was once a police officer, and he had wider county name recognition from his years working for Stammitti, often serving as his spokesman.

Name recognition also helped Dawn Walther, who is married to county Probate Judge James Walther, win the Democratic primary for county recorder against Jeff Bearer. It likely didn’t help Bearer that, as chief deputy recorder, he was effectively campaigning to run against his boss, incumbent Mike Doran, a Republican seeking a second term who was unopposed in the GOP primary.

Walther carried every community in the county, beating Bearer 65.7 percent to 34.3 percent.


Sandusky Register. March 23, 2024.

Editorial: Compromise over confrontation

The legislation is transformative. The Intel project in Ohio, a $20 billion manufacturing facility in Licking County in the central part of the state, is a result and is a success story for both the Biden administration and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s state commerce department.

Joe Biden is 81; Mike DeWine is 77. While DeWine doesn’t get hit as often or as hard with ageism commentary from critics, both men have been targeted by opponents and members of their own party on a whole variety of topics.

In Ohio, the average pay for a chip manufacturing job is somewhere between $75,000 and $120,000 annually. It’s more likely than not, we suspect, that if it wasn’t for Biden’s leadership in Washington and DeWine’s leadership in Columbus, it would never have come to be.

And while compromise and cooperation across the political spectrum have been replaced in recent years by confrontation and resentment, in this instance the old-school ways prevailed and succeeded.

The U.S. Department of Commerce announced this week that it has reached a preliminary agreement with Intel to provide up to $8.5 billion in direct funding along with $11 billion in loans under the CHIPS and Science Act.

That funding will support the construction and expansion of Intel facilities in Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon — and in Ohio — creating nearly 30,000 jobs and supporting thousands of other indirect jobs.

Semiconductors power everything from cell phones to electric vehicles, refrigerators, satellites, defense systems and more. These devices were invented in the United States, but today less than 10 percent of the world’s chips and none of the most advanced ones are manufactured here.

The CHIPS and Science Act was enacted under a divided government in 2022. Companies have announced over $240 billion in investments to bring semiconductor manufacturing back to the United States during the last four years and semiconductor jobs are making a comeback.

Within the decade, 20% of the leading edge chips will bear the “Made in the USA” label.

In all, the funding and loan guarantees will create 30,000 jobs in four states, including in Ohio. The CHIPS and Science Act, enacted in 2022, is indeed transformative. It was created in Washington and used in Columbus to secure the most significant investment in the state’s history.

Eighty is the new 60.


Intel’s state-of-the-art Ohio manufacturing facility, Licking, Ohio

• 3,000 new hi-tech Intel jobs

• $20 billion capital investment

• It will be the first leading-edge semiconductor chip manufacturing facility in Ohio

• 7,000 construction jobs over the course of the build.

• Tens of thousands of indirect and support jobs like contractors, suppliers and consultants, in addition to employee and construction jobs.

• 169 existing Ohio businesses that already supply Intel will gain business