As we prepare for the 2020 elections, Yesh Ginsburg and Steen Kirby will give a general overview of all 435 United States House of Representatives races. This is a basic overview to introduce you to the major candidates. All Partisan Lean numbers are taken from the Cook Partisan Voting Index. We will update this page as the races progress if anything noteworthy arises.

Ohio is too big to cover in one article, with 16 Congressional districts. This article contains three of the Democrats’ four districts in the state, in the northern Ohio areas. The second article will focus on the first eight districts, which contain mostly rural Republican districts, along with one Democratic Columbus district.

Ohio’s 9th Congressional District

Incumbent: Marcy Kaptur (Democratic, 19th term)

Partisan Lean: D+14

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Marcy Kaptur (D) 157,219 67.79
Steven Kraus (R) 74,670 32.19

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Marcy Kaptur (D) 193,966 68.69
Donald Larson (R) 88,427 31.3

Republican Candidate:

Rob Weber (campaign website)

Weber is running on an anti-Socialism and anti-left wing platform. He spent relatively heavily in the primary and now, which is odd for a race that should not be particularly close.

Democratic Candidate:

Marcy Kaptur (campaign website)

Kaptur is a popular incumbent and the longest-serving woman in the House. She campaigns on her record and the community, and mostly focuses on local issues.

Ohio’s 10th Congressional District

Incumbent: Michael Turner (Republican, ninth term)

Partisan Lean: R+4

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Michael Turner (R) 157,554 55.92
Theresa Gasper (D) 118,785 42.16
David Harlow (L) 5,387 1.91

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Michael Turner (R) 215,724 64.09
Robert Klepinger (D) 109,981 32.67
Thomas McMasters (I) 10,890 3.24

Republican Candidate:

Michael Turner (campaign website)

Turner is a relatively moderate Republican who focuses mainly on military issues. He has also been one of Ohio’s more vocal members of Congress about providing information related to COVID-19.

Democratic Candidate:

Desiree Tims (campaign website)

Tims is a liberal Democrat who is campaigning on universal pre-K, a public healthcare option, and making sure local areas get needed federal relief for disasters. Turner usually easily wins reelection, but Tims is spending here in a way that indicates this district is a bit of a target.

Ohio’s 11th Congressional District

Incumbent: Marcia Fudge (Democratic, sixth term)

Partisan Lean: D+32

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Marcia Fudge (D) 206,138 82.24
Beverly Goldstein (R) 44,486 17.75

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Marcia Fudge (D) 242,917 80.25
Beverly Goldstein (R) 59,769 19.75

Republican Candidate:

Laverne Gore (campaign website)

Gore is one of several Black Republican women running on the notion that the Democratic Party has failed its Black citizens. It will be interesting to see if this tactic has success anywhere, but it doesn’t seem like Gore and northeast Ohio are the places to look to see if it succeeds.

Democratic Candidate:

Marcia Fudge (campaign website)

Fudge is very popular in this deep blue district. She is one of the most consistent Democrats in Congress, and she focuses on local issues, including lowering obesity.

Ohio’s 12th Congressional District

Incumbent: Troy Balderson (Republican, first term)

Partisan Lean: R+7

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Troy Balderson (R) 175,677 51.42
Danny O’Connor (D) 161,251 47.2
Joe Manchik (G) 4,718 1.38

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Pat Tiberi (R) 251,266 66.55
Ed Albertson (D) 112,638 29.84
Joe Manchik (G) 13,474 3.57

Republican Candidate:

Troy Balderson (campaign website)

Balderson is a pro-life limited government conservative who is focusing on, among other things, the economic success before COVID-19 came along. He generally takes a strong anti-liberal stance.

Yesh’s notes: This was a very safe Republican district while popular Congressman Pat Tiberi was in office. Since he left, though, it immediately became a swing district. Balderson’s rhetoric is far less moderate and bipartisan than Tiberi’s was, so it will be interesting to see if he has the same success in the district. Balderson’s margin of victory did increase by over 3% between the 2018 Special Election and the general election in November, so maybe this seat is still somewhat safe for him.

Democratic Candidate:

Alaina Shearer (campaign website)

Shearer is a moderate Democrat who is mainly focusing on Balderson’s partisanship. She says that someone less partisan needs to represent the leftward-shifting district. It definitely seems like a stronger campaign that O’Connor ran, and we’ll see if it’s strong enough.

Ohio’s 13th Congressional District

Incumbent: Tim Ryan (Democratic, ninth term)

Partisan Lean: D+7

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Tim Ryan (D) 153,323 60.99
Christopher DePizzo (R) 98,047 39.01

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Tim Ryan (D) 208,610 67.73
Richard Morckel (R) 99,377 32.26

Republican Candidate:

Christina Hagan (campaign website)

Hagan is a former state Representative who is spending like this could be a close race. She has free market and limited changes healthcare plans. Hagan is also taking a strong stance on the debt and federal spending.

Democratic Candidate:

Tim Ryan (campaign website)

Ryan is a pretty liberal Democrat who still manages to find ways to be bipartisan. His Presidential campaign last year never really went anywhere, but it shouldn’t hurt his reelection in this safe Democratic district.

Ohio’s 14th Congressional District

Incumbent: David Joyce (Republican, fourth term)

Partisan Lean: R+5

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
David Joyce (R) 169,809 55.25
Betsy Rader (D) 137,549 44.75

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
David Joyce (R) 219,191 62.58
Michael Wager (D) 130,907 37.37

Republican Candidate:

David Joyce (campaign website)

Joyce is a relatively popular Congressman who is running on his record and his history. He focuses mainly on local issues.

Democratic Candidate:

Hillary O’Connor Mueri (campaign website)

O’Connor Mueri is spending decently on this race, but not as much as you’d expect in a district that came relatively close in 2018. She is campaigning on her naval service record and her history as an Ohioan, along with focusing on relatively liberal solutions overall to local issues.

Ohio’s 15th Congressional District

Incumbent: Steve Stivers (Republican, fifth term)

Partisan Lean: R+7

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Steve Stivers (R) 170,593 58.33
Rick Neal (D) 116,112 39.7
Johnathan Miller Jr. (L) 5,738 1.96

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Steve Stivers (R) 222,847 66.16
Scott Wharton (D) 113,960 33.84

Republican Candidate:

Steve Stivers (campaign website)

Stivers is a pretty conservative Republican. He is pro-life, pro-gun, and in favor of a balanced budget amendment. He does, however, campaign for the federal government to build out broadband infrastructure so that everyone has access to internet access.

Democratic Candidate:

Joel Newby (campaign website)

Newby is a liberal Democrat who models himself after Sherrod Brown. He frames his entire campaign around dealing with local issues, while some of his proposals (for example, higher minimum wage) are generally more universal liberal principles.

Ohio’s 16th Congressional District

Incumbent: Anthony Gonzalez (Republican, first term)

Partisan Lean: R+8

2018 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Anthony Gonzalez (R) 170,029 56.73
Susan Moran Palmer (D) 129,681 43.27

2016 Results:

Candidate Votes %
Jim Renacci (R) 225,794 65.33
Keith Mundy (D) 119,830 34.67

Republican Candidate:

Anthony Gonzalez (campaign website)

Former Ohio State and NFL player Anthony Gonzalez is considered by many a potential future star in the GOP. He took this seat after Jim Renacci left to challenge Sherrod Brown for the Senate seat two years ago. Gonzalez is a smaller government and free market conservative who is in favor of welfare reform. He is in favor of some government assistance, though–for example, extending P.E.L.L. grants to students getting an associate’s degree in college.

Democratic Candidate:

Aaron Godfrey (campaign website)

Godfrey is a somewhat progressive Democrat who models himself after Sherrod Brown and Bernie Sanders. He advocates for Medicare for All, though he does not quite go as far with the Green New Deal. He attacks Gonzalez’s support for President Trump, though his hard stance against fracking and fossil fuels is an interesting choice for this district.

Overview

Republicans currently hold five of these eight seats. It is not particularly likely that any given district in this group is competitive in November, though almost all of them have the potential to be.

Interested in the rest of our primers for other House races? We have them all listed on our primer home page.

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