Primary 2016: Battleground Ohio

Polling places in Ohio close tomorrow night at 7:30pm. Once again, our state will be the center of the political universe as the nation watches the storylines of the Presidential primary unfold. In addition to the top of the ticket, Ohioans will pick candidates in primaries for U.S. Senate, the Ohio Supreme Court, and the General Assembly.

KASICH & STRICKLAND: BOTH FIGHTING FOR THEIR POLITICAL LIVES

2010 gubernatorial rivals Republican Gov. John Kasich and former Democrat Gov. Ted Strickland find themselves in the most high-profile primaries of their political careers. Strong performances in New Hampshire and Michigan have Gov. Kasich in prime position to put the brakes on the “Trump Train” as it rolls into Ohio. Polling has the race within the margin of error. Gov. Kasich has said he will drop out if he fails to win on his home court tomorrow night. Gov. Strickland finds himself in a Democratic primary for the opportunity to challenge incumbent Sen. Rob Portman. The 74-year-old Strickland faces 31-year-old Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld and occupational therapist Kelli Prather, also from Cincinnati. While Strickland remains the frontrunner in the race and the likeliest to upset Sen. Portman, Sittenfeld has impressed the Democratic base in his bid for the seat. Regardless of tomorrow’s outcome, Councilman Sittenfeld is a rising star for his party.

REPUBLICAN PRIMARY FOR OHIO SUPREME COURT

For the first time in 20 years, there is a Republican primary for a seat on the Ohio Supreme Court. Judges Pat Fischer (1st District Court of Appeals) and Colleen O’Toole (11th District Court of Appeals) are squaring off for the seat held by retiring incumbent Justice Judith Lanzinger. The winner will go on to face Democrat Judge John O’Donnell in November.

OHIO CHAMBER PAC ENDORSES 13 GENERAL ASSEMBLY CANDIDATES

There are 46 contested primaries for the 115 seats up in the Ohio General Assembly this cycle: 35 races in the House and 11 in the Senate. The Ohio Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (OCCPAC) endorsed 13 candidates in contested races. Direct mailings supporting OCCPAC-backed candidates have been sent out in several competitive races. In addition to targeted mail, OCCPAC has committed significant funds to radio and digital advertising on behalf of OCCPAC-endorsed candidates and also engaged in social media and email campaigns.

PRIMARY RESOURCES

Need to find your voting place or want to see a sample of your ballot before you head to the polls? Check out our 2016 Primary Resource Guide before polls open at 6:30am tomorrow. Then follow us on Twitter @probizpolitics after the polls close for real-time updates and results.

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