COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) – Republican John Kasich has coasted to re-election as Ohio’s governor by defeating Cleveland Democrat Ed FitzGerald amid early indications turnout was low across the state.
Tuesday’s victory was expected after campaign missteps by FitzGerald, the Cuyahoga County executive, left him seriously behind in polls and fundraising.
FitzGerald’s troubles and the lack of a U.S. Senate race or any statewide ballot issues were among factors keeping people from the polls.
The 62-year-old Kasich’s approval ratings dropped after he lost a 2011 collective-bargaining battle against public employee unions, but FitzGerald’s weakened campaign was unable to serve as an effective mouthpiece to remind voters of that and push other Democratic issues.
Kasich ran on his record of job creation and his efforts to rein in Ohio government spending and cut taxes.
The governor released the following statement after he was declared the winner:
“Ohio’s made a lot of progress in the past four years because we had the courage to come together to solve tough problems. The result is that Ohio is getting stronger every day. Though the challenges may change in the next four years, we know how to tackle them head on–don’t be afraid to make tough choices, come together to solve problems, keep government small, manage responsibly and have the determination to lift up our neighbors. I’m proud of what we’ve all accomplished—and will accomplish—and grateful for the chance to play a role in it. My family, our team of volunteers, our supporters, our staff and, most important, the people of Ohio–thank you for being there to support me and thank you for all you do every day for our great state.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.