What’s on your November newsletter?

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Midterm elections are fast approaching and Ohio voters will decide who they want in Congress, the Governor’s mansion, the Ohio Supreme Court and whether non-citizens should be allowed to vote in local elections.

It’s a big poll, and we break it all down in this week’s episode of Ohio Politics Explained.

A USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau podcast where we keep you up to date with political news in the state. This week, host Anna Staver joined the entire team of state reporters: Jessie Balemert, Laura Bishoff and Haley BeMiller.

1) US Senate and House of Representatives

The big ticket race in Ohio is to fill the Seat in the United States Senate left open by retired Republican Senator Rob Portman. JD Vance got former President Donald Trump’s endorsement, but he’s still in a statistically tied race with Democratic Representative Tim Ryan.

The people of Ohio will also elect 15 representatives to the United States House. Some of these races are almost guaranteed to re-elect an incumbent, but there are a handful of close races.

In the Toledo area, longtime representative Marcy Kaptur faces a difficult re-election campaign against political newcomer JR Majewski.

In the Akron-Canton area, former Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes, a Democrat, is running against another Trump-endorsed Republican, Madison Gesiotto Gilbert. The the newly drawn district is also a draw with 51% of registered voters as Democrats and 47% as Republicans.

And in Cincinnati, Republican U.S. Representative Steve Chabot is mired in a controversial race against Cincinnati City Councilman Greg Landsman.

2) The Governor’s Race

Republican Governor Mike DeWine appears ready to sail to another four years in power. Most polls in the race show him with a double-digit lead over his Democratic challenger, former Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.

DeWine, who rejected all of his opponent’s offers to debate, staked his reelection on economic issues and Ohio’s recent success in attracting major investment from Intel and Honda. Whaley focused on social issues, portraying DeWine as extreme on abortion (he signed the State Heartbeat Act) and gun reform.

3) National elections (for everything except Governor)

Ohioans will choose three justices for the state Supreme Court in November, along with a secretary of state, attorney general, auditor and treasurer. Here is a brief overview of each:

The Supremes: These races will determine whether we have a Democratic or Republican majority in the field. That’s important because these new justices will hear cases on a number of important issues like redistricting and whether Ohio’s constitution provides abortion protections.

Secretary of State: Three candidates are running for this election, Republican incumbent Frank LaRose, Democrat Chelsea Clark and independent Tore Maras. The winner will become Ohio’s Chief Electoral Officer and oversee the 2024 presidential election, choose the language of the ballot for issues such as the legalization of recreational marijuana, and be the final arbiter of who will be on the ballot.

Attorney General: Ohio’s Best Lawyer is an important job. This person decides whether to fight lawsuits challenging the legality of state laws, whether to fight the federal government, and whether to prosecute people for a multitude of crimes.

Rep. Jeff Crossman, D-Parma, says current attorney general Republican Dave Yost uses the office for political fights like vaccination mandates, critical race theory and transgender student-athletes. Yost says he opposes the inappropriate use of presidential power.

Listener: Republican auditor Keith Faber asks voters for four more years while Democrat Taylor Sappington wants them to make a change. This work is the Chief State Investigator. He or she tracks state money through schools, agencies, and even local governments to make sure it’s been spent wisely.

Treasurer: Ohio’s treasurer is the person who makes sure our bills are paid on time, our credit rating stays high, and our $28 billion investments continue to do well. It’s the state government plumbing that you don’t notice until something breaks, but who sits in the chair is important. Republican Robert Sprague wants voters to re-elect him as Marion’s Democratic Mayor Scott Schertzer campaigned to overthrow him.

4) Ohio House and Senate

Ohio has 17 state Senate seats and all 99 House seats up for grabs in November. And just like the congressional races, some of them are competitive and some of them are not.

Republicans have supermajorities in both houses, and are likely to retain their majority over the next two years.

Who is responsible in Columbus is important. State legislators decide everything from sales and income taxes to abortion, gun reforms and public school funding.

5) Number 1 and Number 2

Ohioans will vote on two statewide ballot initiatives in November.

The first is about bail and what judges should consider when attributing it to persons accused of crimes. Number 1 asks voters if they want to change the Ohio state constitution and require the courts to consider public safety when deciding the amount of bail.

Number 2 concerns voting rights and whether cities should be allowed to give them to non-citizens. The statewide constitutional amendment would prohibit local governments from letting residents who are not U.S. citizens vote in local elections. (Federal law already prohibits them from voting in state or federal elections.)

Listen to “Ohio Politics Explained” on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts and TuneIn Radio. The episode is also available by clicking the link in this article.

The USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau serves the Columbus Dispatch, the Cincinnati Enquirer, the Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliate news agencies across Ohio.

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