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Ohio Attorney General election, 2014

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Ohio Attorney General Election

Primary Date:
May 6, 2014

General Election Date:
November 4, 2014

November 4 Election Winner:
Mike DeWine Republican Party
Incumbent prior to election:
Mike DeWine Republican Party
Mike DeWine.jpg

Ohio State Executive Elections
Top Ballot
Governor Lieutenant GovernorSecretary of StateAttorney General
Down Ballot
Treasurer, Auditor

Flag of Ohio.png
The Ohio Attorney General election took place on November 4, 2014. Incumbent Mike DeWine (R) was first elected in 2010 and ran for re-election. The primaries took place on May 6, 2014. DeWine won in the general election.[1]

DeWine and his Democratic challenger, former Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper, were unopposed in their respective primaries. The Libertarian candidate, Steven R. Linnabary was controversially disqualified.

While DeWine defeated then-incumbent Democrat Richard Cordray by just 1.2 percent in the 2010 election, the 2014 race proved a much easier victory for DeWine.

Ohio is one of 21 states with a mixed primary system. Only affiliated voters can vote for candidates in the primary election; however, voters do not choose their affiliation until Election Day, when they request a party's ballot.[2]


General election



General election

Attorney General of Ohio, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike DeWine Incumbent 61.5% 1,882,048
     Democratic David Pepper 38.5% 1,178,426
Total Votes 3,060,474
Election Results via Ohio Secretary of State.

Race background

Incumbent Republican Mike DeWine faced a single challenger, Democrat David Pepper, in the 2014 general election for Ohio Attorney General. Both candidates were unopposed in the primary.

The Columbus Dispatch, in a review of the candidates, opined that, "The DeWine-Pepper clash has been the most spirited of statewide campaigns other than the gubernatorial race."[6] In late August, the Ohio GOP released a poll showing DeWine leading Pepper 60 percent to 31 percenet, while the Ohio Democratic Party withheld their poll results for the attorney general's race, leading to speculation that their numbers for Pepper were similarly poor.[7] Yet the fact that the Ohio GOP commissioned a poll specifically for the attorney general race, coupled with efforts to attack David Pepper, indicated that the election was still up in the air.

Issues and ads in the campaign

See also: Ohio attorney general election, 2014

State Democrats expected Pepper to close the gap as his advertising campaign began in the fall.[7] In late September, the DeWine campaign aired ads in response to an ad by left-leaning advocacy group Moving Ohio Forward attacking DeWine. Republicans criticized Pepper for allegedly collecting a large number of parking fines and not completing continuing legal education requirements.[7] Democrats, in turn, charged that DeWine did not adequately deal with Ohio's heroin problem, violence against women or school safety.[6]

Minor party legislation

See also: Ballot access requirements for political candidates in Ohio

In late 2013, Ohio passed two laws that allegedly restricted minor parties' participation in the 2014 elections. The Libertarian Party of Ohio filed lawsuits against both laws, the outcomes of which had the potential to alter the candidate landscape of this race.[8] On October 17, 2014, Libertarian Party candidate for attorney general, Steven R. Linnabary, and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl were disqualified from the ballot by federal judge Michael H. Watson.[9]

Campaign themes

David Pepper and Mike DeWine participated in editorial interviews with the Northeast Ohio Media Group in mid-October. The following sections quote verbatim their responses to common questions.

Campaign finance

Mike DeWine

NEOMG: Your opponent has raised questions about the relationship between campaign donations you've received and contracts your office has awarded. What policies would you favor to remove potential or perceived conflicts of interest?

MD: When there's criticism, we try to evaluate it. We've had criticism from editorial boards about this. One criticism was there was really no paper trail [to show how contracting decisions are made]. So we created a paper trail. Now, when a special counsel is hired for a statutory client, there's a form that has to be filled out. [10], (2014), [11]

David Pepper

NEOMG: Your campaign has been called out for running a misleading "pay to play" ad that equates Mike DeWine's repayment of a personal campaign loan with some major scandal. Why do you believe this is a fair attack for your campaign to promote?

DP: I didn't say he broke the law. He's obviously not in jail. But I don't think that's much of a defense. This is the largest [campaign] loan, we believe, in the history of Ohio. If you look back, you do not see loans nearly this size.

I think what's driving all that pay to play is that over the last 3 ½ years on a regular basis, the money he's pulling in from [donors who receive state contracts] he is transferring back to himself in six figure increments over and over. I can tell you as someone in politics, walking away from three years worth of fundraising and moving half the money back to myself would really change the motivation of the fundraising. [10], (2014), [12]

Investigating rape cases

Mike DeWine

NEOMG: So how have you changed the status quo?

MD: No. 1 is changing the crime lab so that evidence is returned to police and processed quickly. DNA processing was one of the biggest problems. We have gone from 125 days to 23 days on average, and we have done that in spite of the fact that we have had a fourfold increase in the amount of DNA that comes into our office.

No. 2 is the old rape kits. We've tested over 5,000.

The third thing I would mention is something we did in conjunction with the governor. The pill mill problem – we went hard after that. We've taken the licenses of over 50 doctors. Heroin is a huge problem as well. We're doing things that haven't been done before. We set up a heroin unit. We are providing technology and expertise to local law enforcement when they're investigating heroin dealers. We've had success already in Lorain County.

NEOMG: What's been the single biggest achievement with the rape kit testing?

MD: Getting these all tested. These had been sitting around and hadn't been tested.

I took that protocol. This doesn't have the force of law. It's a protocol. I wrote letters to every sheriff and every chief of police in the state and said we have this protocol, I think these rape kits should be tested. When they started, nobody had a clue how many there were. We thought Cleveland had hundreds, then 2,000. We're at 4,600. All of these departments have been very cooperative about bringing them in.

I had no clue that 37 percent of the cases would have a match. [10], (2014), [11]

David Pepper

NEOMG: You have been critical of how DeWine handles the testing of rape evidence kits, something many see as a positive for him. What would you do differently?

DP: What I would do is be a lot less patient with the current pace.

I give Mike DeWine credit. But especially since its obvious there are hits being made, when you know there are thousands of these kits all over the state and there are thousands now at the Attorney General's Office just sitting there, to me it commands a much more impatient, rapid approach than we're seeing today.

I think there are clear ways to speed this up. When DeWine first got there, he sent evidence to local labs to be tested. I don't see why you wouldn't do that now when you have capable local labs. Now he says it's too expensive.

NEOMG: But wouldn't your way cost more money?

DP: I don't think so at all. There's a finite number of kits out there. You're going to have to pay a certain cost no matter what. It's just a matter of when. So by doing it quicker you front load the costs but that's good because you're getting through it. [10], (2014), [12]


Ohio Attorney General Race 2014
Poll Mike DeWine (R) David Pepper (D)Other/UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Tarrance Group
Commissioned by Ohio GOP
August 17-20, 2014
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Campaign ads

Mike DeWine

DeWine campaign ad: Daughters

Outside organizations

Moving Ohio Forward

Moving Ohio Forward ad: Sidestep

Past elections


On November 2, 2010, Mike DeWine won election to the office of Ohio Attorney General. He defeated Richard Cordray (D), Robert Owens (C) and Marc Feldman (L) in the general election.

Ohio Attorney General, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngMike DeWine 47.5% 1,821,414
     Democratic Richard Cordray (D) 46.3% 1,772,728
     Constitution Robert Owens 3.4% 130,065
     Libertarian Marc Feldman 2.8% 107,521
Total Votes 3,831,728
Election Results Via: Ohio Secretary of State


On November 4, 2008, Richard Cordray won election to the office of Ohio Attorney General (Special Election). He defeated Mike Crites (R) and Robert Owens (I) in the general election.

Ohio Attorney General (Special Election), 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.png Richard Cordray 56.8% 2,890,953
     Republican Mike Crites 38.4% 1,956,252
     Independent Robert Owens 4.8% 246,002
Total Votes 5,093,207
Election Results Via: Ohio Secretary of State


On November 7, 2006, Marc Dann won election to the office of Ohio Attorney General. He defeated Betty Montgomery (R) in the general election.

Ohio Attorney General, 2006
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMarc Dann 52.6% 2,035,825
     Republican Betty Montgomery 47.4% 1,833,846
Total Votes 3,869,671
Election Results Via: Ohio Secretary of State


On November 5, 2002, Jim Petro won election to the office of Ohio Attorney General. He defeated Leigh Herington (D) in the general election.

Ohio Attorney General, 2002
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJim Petro 64.1% 2,007,411
     Democratic Leigh Herington 35.9% 1,123,318
Total Votes 3,130,729
Election Results Via: Ohio Secretary of State

Key deadlines

Deadline Event
February 5, 2014 Filing deadline
May 6, 2014 Primary election
November 4, 2014 General election
November 25, 2014 Completion of state canvass of vote results
January 12, 2015 Inauguration of all state-wide executive officeholders

Recent news

This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Ohio + attorney + general + elections"

All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.

Ohio Attorney General elections News Feed

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See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. New York Times, "Election 2014 – Ohio," accessed November 4, 2014
  2. Ohio Secretary of State Website, "Frequently Asked Questions about General Voting and Voter Registration," accessed January 3, 2014
  3. The Columbus Dispatch, "Democrat David Pepper running for attorney general," April 15, 2013
  4. Libertarian Party of Ohio, "Steven R. Linnabary for Ohio Attorney General," retrieved December 17, 2013
  5., "Libertarians denied spots on Ohio governor's, attorney general's ballot," March 13, 2014
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Columbus Dispatch, "Attorney general candidates DeWine, Pepper are vastly different," September 21, 2014
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2, "Republican poll forecasts landslide for Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine. So why is the GOP pecking away at Democrat David Pepper?" August 27, 2014
  8. The Columbus Dispatch, "Federal judge suspends Ohio law concerning who can collect petition signatures," January 3, 2014
  9., "Libertarian Charlie Earl's removal from November ballot upheld by federal judge," October 17, 2014
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  11. 11.0 11.1, "Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine looks back on first term and ahead to possible run for governor: Q&A," October 14, 2014
  12. 12.0 12.1, "David Pepper talks about his vision for Ohio Attorney General's Office, tells tales of a young Vladimir Putin: Q&A," October 16, 2014