Top 5 takeaways from yesterday’s General Assembly primaries

The 2014 primary has now come and gone. Here are my Top 5 takeaways from last night:
  1. The results were good for OCCPaC. Of the 21 candidates receiving an endorsement, 20 were victorious. Four candidates – Rep. Dave Hall, Rep. Barb Sears, Rep. Dorothy Pelanda, and Bob Cupp – all received OCCPaC support in the form of direct mail and all won their races. Rep. Peter Stautberg was the only endorsed candidate to come up short. Which brings me to my next takeaway…
  2. Rep. Stautberg losing to former state representative Tom Brinkman was easily the biggest surprise of the night. It was expected to be competitive, but Rep. Stautberg had won this exact same race two years ago with 61%. One key difference between the two races that definitely helped Brinkman was turnout. Only 9,217 ballots were cast this year, half as many as 2012. The culprit – there was a competitive Republican presidential primary last time.
  3. The Tea Party-affiliated Ohio Citizen’s PAC had a handful of victories but largely came up short yesterday. The PAC endorsed 20 candidates running in contested primaries, and only five went on to win. We heard a lot about the Tea Party infiltrating GOP primaries over the past few months, but it didn’t come to fruition.
  4. Two incumbents went down in addition to Rep. Stautberg. In the HD 54 GOP primary, Rep. Pete Beck was unable to overcome his legal problems. Being indicted on felony charges typically doesn’t sit well with voters, and unsurprisingly he received only 9% of the vote. Additionally, Rep. Zack Milkovich also lost. That’s twice in the past six months for him – he lost a race for Barberton clerk of courts last November.
  5. Cleveland Reps. John Barnes and Bill Patmon won their primaries, fending off challenges from the left. Both have been criticized for having close relationships with House GOP leadership, which prompted the challenges. Rep. Barnes, who was endorsed by OCCPaC, had the tougher of the two races. As of the last campaign filing deadline, he had been outspent by former Pepper Pike Councilwoman Jill Miller Zimon 4-1. Despite that deficit, he pulled out a 54-46% victory.
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