Early poll numbers indicate that incumbent D.J. Swearingen has been re-elected as state representative for Ohio's 89th district, defeating challenger Jim Obergefell, according to data from the New York Times. As of 10:40 p.m., Swearingen has more than 62% of the votes and Obergefell has more than 38%, with at least 94% of the votes in. Results are preliminary until certified in about two weeks.
Swearingen, a Republican, has held the position since 2019. He did not answer CityBeat's repeated questions about his campaign positions.
Obergefell, a Democrat, is a University of Cincinnati alum who may be best known as the lead plaintiff in the 2015 U.S. Supreme Court case Obergefell v. Hodges, which legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. In response to CityBeat's candidate questions, Obergefell highlighted LGBTQIA+ rights, abortion and bodily autonomy, strengthening voting rights and improving public schools.
In June, the conservative-leaning U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Dobbs v. Jackson, ultimately overturning the long-standing Roe v. Wade landmark decision, which had granted citizens the right to privacy to choose and seek an abortion. Many legal experts now think that Obergefell will fall next, thanks to opinion language used in the Dobbs/Roe decision.
This year’s midterm elections followed a weird special election that was required after the state refused to draw new voting maps. A Republican-led commission redrew the boundaries of Ohio's House districts earlier this year in an ongoing, dramatic redistricting battle. Many of the ensuing boundary maps repeatedly were rejected by the Ohio Supreme Court as being unconstitutional for unfairly favoring Republicans.
Though the Ohio Supreme Court deemed the maps unconstitutional, a federal court eventually declared that Ohio must use them for August's special election and the Nov. 8 midterms due to timing, but the state is required to pass fairer maps before the 2024 election. However, the ramifications of voting within the current redrawn – and, many say, unfair – boundaries in districts throughout the state will affect elections and priorities for years to come.
All Ohio election results are preliminary until certified by the Board of Elections. CityBeat uses polling numbers that have been reported first-hand by the Associated Press, which is standard for most newsrooms. For more election results and information, visit Ohio's secretary of state website.
Coming soon: CityBeat Daily newsletter. We’ll send you a handful of interesting Cincinnati stories every morning. Subscribe now to not miss a thing. Follow us: Google News | NewsBreak | Reddit | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter