Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Thursday, November 9

Ohio House 20th: Campbell (D) Trails by 933 Votes

The Franklin County Board of Elections web site shows Bev Campbell (D-Gahanna) behind Rep. Jim McGregor (R-Gahanna) by only 933 votes, with late absentee ballots and provisional ballots yet to be counted:

20,107 (51.19%) - McGregor (R)
19,174 (48.81%) - Campbell (D)

Although McGregor has claimed victory, Campbell has not conceded and expects the provisional ballots to break strongly her way. The official count will not be completed until November 28th.

UPDATE: I spoke this morning to Bev Campbell, who sounded refreshed and energized after getting her first full night's sleep in a long time. She is fully committed to seeing the process through to the end of the official count on November 28th. "For a part of me, closure would be great," she said, "but the important thing is I promised the voters that every vote would be counted." Also, she would "never do what John Kerry did," referring to his concession of the presidential electon while Ohio absentee and provisional ballots were uncounted and questions had been raised about the conduct of the election in this state.

Campbell is working with the campaign of Mary Jo Kilroy (D) during this period, and the two candidates will each appear at today's voting rights rally in Columbus. Campbell said she has heard conflicting reports about the quantity of uncounted absentee and provisional ballots in her district. A somewhat dated report in her possession indicated that 20th District absentee ballots had not yet been returned from 692 registered Democrats, 609 registered Republicans, and 2345 independents. As to provisional ballots, a significant number are expected to come from students at Capitol University and residents at several nursing homes and assisted living facilities, the latter often having neither drivers licenses nor utility bills to show as identification. Campbell expects the provisional ballots to trend her way.

Campbell disputed a statement attributed to her by a reporter for ThisWeek News that there is going to be a recount and that litigation is pending. Campbell spoke to the reporter over the roar of the crowd at the election night party at the Hyatt, and Campbell told me that she only said she had no comment and the reporter should talk to Campbell's communications director. However, litigation arising from the election is indeed a very real possibility. Campbell has indicated an intention to appeal from the Ohio Election Commission's rulings against her complaints about McGregor's negative advertising, and she is also contemplating a defamation lawsuit against her opponent. McGregor called Campbell unethical and dishonest in campaign literature and TV advertising, based on the temporary suspension of Campbell's law licenses in Pennsylvania and New Jersey in the aftermath of near-fatal car wreck and attendant medical care. There was no finding in those proceedings of dishonesty or intentional misconduct, only of negligence.

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