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Ohio's biggest political stories of 2022

Abortion supporters gather outside the Ohio Statehouse on Tuesday to rally against the anti-abortion laws in the state.
Sam Aberle
/
Ohio Public Radio
Abortion rights supporters in Ohio were motivated by the June U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down the historic Roe vs. Wade precedent, sending the issue of abortion back to the states.

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown sort through the biggest political stories in Ohio over the past 12 months.

J.D. Vance is Ohio's next U.S. Senator

It took a heated Republican primary that includes a near fistfight and having his campaign propped by a well-funded Super PAC, but J.D. Vance was able to beat Democrat Tim Ryan in the race for U.S. Senate. It won't be enough to give Republicans control of the chamber, but it could be a message for Sherrod Brown in 2024.

Republican sweep

Ohio has long been mentioned as a swing state. After years of moving from purple to pink, Ohio is now solidly red, as evidenced in the November election where the GOP won every statewide race and widened their margins in the Ohio Legislature.

Redistricting fight

At least part of the reason Ohio Republicans were able to win even bigger majorities in the General Assembly is that the November election was helped using unconstitutional maps. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled the maps unconstitutional no less than five times, but each time the Republican leaders of the Ohio Redistricting Commission found a way to thumb their nose at the court and continue using gerrymandered maps.

Nuclear bailout scandal

While there were not many new revelations in the ongoing nuclear bailout scandal, we did learn that the case is scheduled to go to trial in January of 2023.

Abortion fight

One of the biggest stories in Ohio and the rest of the country in 2022 was the overturning of Roe vs. Wade and the fight over abortion rights returning to states. That meant Ohio's so-called "heartbeat law" went into effect, banning abortions after about six weeks into a pregnancy, but it was later put on hold by a Hamilton County judge.

Which leads us to...

Predictions for 2023

Will abortion rights supporters go to the ballot to enshrine those rights into the Ohio Constitution? Could recreational marijuana come to Ohio next year? Could all of that be eclipsed by a criminal indictment of former president Donald Trump?

Send questions and comments to snollygoster@wosu.org.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.
Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.