Amid the flash and dazzle of the controversial presidential election, several local races also saw upsets and landslide victories.
Here’s a rundown of what happened while we were all glued to the electoral map:
Presidential election closes on a cliffhanger
Despite much ado about Donald Trump’s refusal to say he would concede if he lost Tuesday’s election, it was Hillary Clinton who declined to publicly concede when the electoral tide turned in Trump’s favor. Her campaign manager, John Podesta, told attendees at her would-be victory rally to go home and rest Tuesday night while they waited for final election tallies.
"Several states are too close to call. So we're not going to have anything more to say tonight," Podesta said.
The Associated Press, however, called the election for Trump, and Clinton conceded privately to Trump around 2:45 a.m. The victorious candidate addressed a crowd of supporters in New York City to celebrate one of the most stunning upsets in American political history.
"It is time for us to come together as one united people," he said. “For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I am reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so we can work together and unify our great country."
Hamilton County Commission race gets a cliffhanger, too
Democratic challenger Denise Driehaus and Republican incumbent Dennis Deters also found themselves at the center of a too-close-to-call race, although in this case preliminary results placed Driehaus ahead of her opponent — albeit by less than one percent. The outcome of the race will likely be determined by the thousands of provisional ballots that have not yet been counted, election officials said Tuesday, and voters may not know the final outcome until after Thanksgiving.
A Driehaus win would swing control of the Republican-controlled commission to Democrats, which hasn’t happened in a decade.
Republicans oust Stumbo, claim the South
Donald Trump’s popularity in Kentucky created a wave that carried other Republicans to victory on a state level Tuesday. Kentucky House Speaker Greg Stumbo, along with several Democratic colleagues, was unseated by Republican candidates such as Larry Brown. Republicans now control every House of Representatives in the southern United States and hold their first Kentucky House majority since 1920.
Eric Holcomb to succeed Mike Pence as governor of Indiana
Unless the results of the presidential election are somehow overturned, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence will become Vice President of the United States in January. Stepping in to fill his gubernatorial shoes will be Lt. Governor and GOP nominee Eric Holcomb, who beat Democratic challenger John Gregg. Holcomb shied away from taking a strong position on Pence’s deeply controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act during his campaign.
A strong finish for Issue 44 Strong Start campaign
Sixty-two percent of Cincinnati voters said yes to Issue 44, a school levy that will provide funds for near-universal preschool in the city. The levy will generate an additional $48 million each year for five years, costing the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $27.
$15 million of that sum will go to preschool expansion; the rest will fill Cincinnati Public Schools’ budget deficit. Until Tuesday, the school district had subsisted on the same level of local tax funding for eight years.
A walk in the park for Issue 52
Voters approved a levy to fund Great Parks of Hamilton County, which has historically relied on taxes for 55 percent of its funding. The levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home an additional $35 each year for 10 years, and the funds will be used to protect green space, maintain trails, upgrade facilities and make parks more accessible for people with disabilities.
Portman wins, keeping Senate seat for Republicans
Ohio U.S. Sen. Rob Portman’s seat was once considered a manageable flip for the Democrats, and former Gov. Ted Strickland made a good go of his attempt to unseat the incumbent. Ultimately, however, Portman’s financial advantage - he raised close to $15 million more than Strickland - and successful efforts to brand his opponent as “Retread Ted” carried him to victory.
Portman distanced himself from Donald Trump during the election, but enjoyed the support of former Republican Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, in whose administrations he served.
Aftab Pureval ousts Winkler
Tracy Winkler has one of the most recognizable last names in Hamilton County politics, but she lost her position as Clerk of Courts to newcomer Aftab Pureval. Pureval, a 34-year-old attorney, campaigned on a platform of increasing court accessibility and disentangling the court system from webs of local political affiliation.
Jim Neil wins re-election as Hamilton County Sheriff
Democrat Jim Neil is projected to win re-election and serve another four-year term as Hamilton County Sheriff, according to unofficial Hamilton County election results.
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