By JULIE CARR SMYTH
COLUMBUS — Two-term Republican state Rep. Dave Greenspan has lost his bid for reelection to Democrat Monique Smith in the Cleveland suburbs, while GOP challenger Gail Pavliga defeated first-term Democratic Rep. Randi Clites in the Akron area.
One of the most hotly contested legislative races of the year went to a recount, with Republican Sen. Stephanie Kunze besting Democrat Crystal Lett by just 116 votes once official results were in. Democratic Sen. Sean O’Brien lost his campaign against a similarly named challenger, Republican Sandra O’Brien, in far northeast Ohio.
A third O’Brien, state Rep. Michael O’Brien, eked out a win in his Mahoning Valley district over Republican Martha Yoder.
The results in races too early to call on election night came as counties around Ohio posted certified election results Wednesday. The numbers still require a final sign-off by GOP Secretary of State Frank LaRose. He has until Nov. 28.
Updated totals included outstanding provisional votes and mail-in ballots received up to 10 days after the Nov. 3 election. They showed President Donald Trump’s margin of victory in Ohio over Democrat Joe Biden, the president-elect, shrink slightly. It still approached 8 percentage points.
Lett said she looked forward to the results of the automatic recount.
“I am honored to have received more than 105,000 votes in this race,” she said in a statement. “It is clear that the margin between my opponent and I is razor-thin, at just 0.06%. I believe it is imperative that every vote is counted and every voice is heard.”
Greenspan thanked his constituents of his closely divided district, pledging to continue to work for them through the end of the year and beyond.
“Even when some tried to challenge my principles, I changed Columbus by standing up for us, hoping to demonstrate that courage, fidelity and honesty is the pathway to a better county, state and nation,” he said. “We can lead by example, and I do hope that I had a positive impact in a challenging political culture and environment.”