Balance of Power

There's a new administration coming to Washington DC, a new legislature in Columbus  with new faces and a stronger Republican majority ,and campaigns already getting underway for this year's mayoral race in Cleveland and next year's statewide elections including Governor. Stay connected with the latest on politics, policies and people making the decisions at all levels affecting your lives.

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KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU

Parma Safety Director and former Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Michael O’Malley has officially launched his campaign to unseat incumbent Prosecutor Tim McGinty. They’ll face-off in the March Democratic primary. O’Malley says he wants to restore public confidence in the office that he says McGinty has lost, especially with his handling of the Tamir Rice case. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports.

Portman
U.S. SENATE

Sen. Rob Portman voted for a bill this week that would halt Syrian and Iraqi refugees from entering the U.S. until better screening is in place. WKSU’s Kabir Bhatia reports.

The American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act – or SAFE – would have required Homeland Security and the FBI to certify each refugee as not being a security threat to the U.S. It passed the House last year. It was blocked in the Senate on Wednesday.

Sen. Portman says the U.S. can still help the refugees by providing better conditions in their camps, and by establishing a “no-fly” zone over Syria.

photo of Chris Widener
OHIO SENATE

  The second-in-command in the Ohio Senate announced he’s retiring at the end of the month. Statehouse correspondent Andy Chow reports.

Republican Senator Chris Widener of Springfield has served in the Ohio General Assembly for more than two decades. He got his start in the House before moving into the Senate and rising to rank of President Pro Tempore.

Widener was chair of the Senate Finance Committee and oversaw two budgets through his chamber.

photo of John Husted
KAREN KASLER / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The state’s chief electiona officer says the time is now to get ready for the role Ohio will play as a battleground presidential state. Statehouse correspondent Karen Kasler reports.

 

Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted told a statewide gathering of elections officials that this fall’s vote will be watched by the world and by attorneys for both major political parties.

So Husted saya his office has been working to update voter rolls, which he says are more accurate than ever. 

photo of Matt Borges
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio Republican Party’s governing body has voted to endorse Governor John Kasich in his bid for president. Ohio Public Radio’s Jo Ingles reports.

It’s rare for the state party to endorse a presidential candidate at this stage in the election cycle but Party Chairman Matt Borges says there’s good reason to break tradition.

“It’s the first time we have had a republican get this far in the process in 70 years. It’s the first time we have a convention coming to Ohio in 80 years.”

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