Ohio House partisan balance may hinge on term limits

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August 11, 2010

Michael J. Skindell is one of thirteen house members ineligible to run because of term limits. Skindell has held the seat since 2003.

By Linda Palmer

Ohio is one of only 15 states that have state legislative term limits. In the November 1992 ballot, the voters approved Ohio Issue No. 4, a constitutional amendment establishing term limits. After 10 years, these limits have changed the nature of the Ohio House of Representatives, with no member having a tenure of more than eight consecutive years.

Nine Democratic state senators: Michael DeBose, Michael J. Skindell, Dan Stewart, Edna Brown, Joseph Koziura, Sandra Harwood, Kathleen Chandler, Todd Book and John Domenick are ineligible to run for re-election to the Ohio legislature in 2010, as are four Republicans: Scott Oelslager, Jeff Wagner, David Daniels and Clyde Evans.

In addition to Democrats losing more seats to term limits, most of the seats vacated by Democrats had primary contests, while only only one seat vacated by a Republican had a primary.

Party As of April 2015
     Democratic Party 34
     Republican Party 65
Total 99

Louis Jacobson, a staff writer for PolitiFact, did an early-season analysis of which state legislatures may change majority party control as the result of the November elections. He considers the Ohio House of Representatives to be a toss up.[1] The Ohio House has a slight Democratic majority, but with every seat up for election and the majority party losing more seats to term limits, the outcome is too close to call. A Republican victory would give the GOP control of both houses of the legislature. The governor's race between incumbent Ted Strickland (D) and challenger John Kasich (R) is also in a dead heat.[2] Whatever the outcome of the house race, term limits will have played a significant role.

See also