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"No Campaigning Beyond This Point," a sign from the 2008 election in Ohio. On Tuesday, November 4th, Ohio voters will elect a slew of statewide offices and decide on many local issues. The state offices up for grabs include governor, attorney general, secretary of state and seats on the state school board and the state Supreme Court.In the Miami Valley, three Republican U.S. Congressmen are facing challenges: John Boehner in the 8th, Mike Turner in the 10th and Steve Chabot in the 1st U.S. district.One state senate election is contested in the area—Republican Bill Beagle, of the 5th district, is defending his seat against Democratic Tipp City councilwoman Dee Gillis.Finally, there are nearly a dozen Ohio house races in the area (see the district map here and the list of candidates here) and we’re following the races for Montgomery County Commission and county auditor.The long list of local issues on Miami Valley ballots include a new tax levy for the Greene County Public Library, a Montgomery County human services levy, an income tax levy for Huber Heights, a parks levy in Beavercreek and an income tax increase in Piqua. Many school districts have levy renewals and a few are asking for increased funds.WYSO’s election night coverage will be a stream from NPR News from 8 p.m. to midnight, which is expected to focus on the U.S. Senate races. Our local and state coverage will include an interruption at 10 p.m. to check in with the Ohio Statehouse News Bureau’s hour of results and analysis in the statewide races, including Governor John Kasich’s incumbency.We’ll be updating results online Nov. 4 and 5, but most county, school district and local town or village issues will not be posted individually. Look for local results in your county on these websites:Butler County: http://results.butlercountyelections.org/Champaign County http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/champaign/elecres.htmClark County http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/clark/elecres.htmClinton County: http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/clinton/ (click “Election Results” on left)Greene County: http://www.co.greene.oh.us/Archive.aspx?AMID=52Miami County: http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/miami/elecres.htmMontgomery County: http://www.mcohio.org/boe/election_results.htmlPreble County: http://www.electionsonthe.net/oh/preble/elecres.htmWarren County: http://www.warrencountyboe.us/election_reports/search/votingresults/voting_results_publish.asp The Ohio Secretary of State’s office posts statewide unofficial election results as they become available here: https://vote.ohio.gov/Home.aspx

Will FitzGerald's Troubles Influence Other Democrats In Fall Election?

Ed FitzGerald is running for governor against John Kasich in 2014

The past week hasn’t been kind to Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald, the Democrat running for Ohio Governor. He answered some uncomfortable questions about incidents that have surfaced in various news reports, but hasn’t responded to more questions that have come up. His problems are raising questions about what, if anything, this will mean to other Democrats running for statewide office.

On Friday,  FitzGerald tried to explain why he was discovered in a parked car in a Cleveland area parking lot with a woman who was not his wife in the wee hours of a morning in 2012.  And since that time, more questions have surfaced.  Records from the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles show FitzGerald didn’t have a regular Ohio driver’s license for about a decade.  He admits, through his spokeswoman, that he did drive illegally within that period of time and he has apologized for it.  Add to that the fact that Incumbent Republican Governor John Kasich has raised about four times as much money as FitzGerald.  But the question that is driving many political observers right now is how FitzGerald’s problems will play out in the coming months.  John Green, the Director of the University of Akron’s Bliss Institute, says FitzGerald’s problems could impact the other Democrats running for statewide office this fall.

“The top of the ticket, the gubernatorial candidate for the Republican or Democratic party tends to set the pace for turnout and support for the candidates on that side of the aisle.  So a weaker candidate at the top generally means lower turnout and fewer votes down ticket.”

FitzGerald spokeswoman Lauren Hitt says FitzGerald is not considering leaving the race at this point.  It would be almost unprecedented if he actually did decide to do that.  Tom Suddes, a long time Statehouse reporter and pundit who often serves as the expert on political history for the Statehouse press corps, says it’s been more than 100 years since the last time a gubernatorial candidate stepped down this late in the race.

“The Republican nominee for Governor, chosen by a convention, not by a primary then, dropped out and the party nominated a substitute candidate,” says Suddes.

That substitute candidate was not successful and Democrat James Cox went on to win that election.  In this case, even if FitzGerald wanted to step down, a spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office says it would be hard to do that.  Matt McClelland says FitzGerald would have had to drop out by August 5th in order for the party to be able to appoint someone else to run in his place.  John Green says while it’s been a tough week for Ed FitzGerald, there’s no reason to believe he can’t rebound.

“There is a tendency, when you have a challenger that runs into a rough patch, bad week, for people to get very concerned, particularly in that person’s party and to over-react.  Certainly, there have been candidates with these kinds of problems in the past that have come back to be very competitive so, speaking as a political scientist, I think it’s a little early to count Mr. FitzGerald out.”

Early voting begins in Ohio in two months – on October 7.