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Stories about Ohio

A constitutional amendment on bail changes headed to Ohio ballot

On June 1, the Ohio State Senate voted to place a constitutional amendment regarding bail changes on the general election ballot this November. The Senate voted 25-7 for the amendment after it passed the House on May 25, with a vote of 63-33.

The measure, if passed, would change bail policy in Ohio, specifically by requiring courts to weigh certain factors when setting bail amounts and conditions.

The measure would add this language to the Ohio Constitution regarding bail: “When determining the amount of bail, the court shall consider public safety, including the seriousness of the offense, and a person’s criminal record, the likelihood a person will return to court, and any other factor the general assembly may prescribe.”

To amend the constitution in Ohio, a 60 percent vote in each legislative chamber during one legislative session is required. After the amendment passes both chambers, it goes to the voters for approval.

The Senate voted down party lines, with the Senate Republicans supporting the amendment and Senate Democrats opposing the amendment. Sen. Theresa Gavarone (R-2) stated that “Ohioans care about public safety, and I have no doubt that they will overwhelmingly support this amendment.”

State Sen. Cecil Thomas (D-9) spoke in opposition to the amendment. “Good prosecutors in Ohio already know how to keep dangerous suspects in jail pending trial,” he stated, “They request a detention hearing and present evidence about the risk to public safety. This ensures that before denying a person who is still considered innocent their freedom, due process rights must be respected and enforced. A judge can also decide to hold a defendant without bail.”

Ohio voters will vote on this amendment, along with another, on the November 8 ballot this year. This is the second constitutional amendment placed on the Ohio general election ballot. Currently, there are two total measures on the ballot. The other measure, if passed, would amend the Ohio constitution to prohibit noncitizens from voting in local and statewide elections.

Since 1985, a total of 26 legislatively referred constitutional amendments have been approved by voters in Ohio, and four amendments have been defeated.

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Citizenship voting requirement amendment on the ballot for Ohio voters

On Wednesday, June 1, the Ohio State Senate voted unanimously to pass House Joint Resolution 4 (HJR4), placing it on the general election ballot for voters this November. It is the first measure to qualify for the Nov. 8 ballot in Ohio.

The measure would amend three sections of the Ohio Constitution—Section 1 of Article V, Section 3 of Article X, and Section 3 of Article XVIII. The language in Section 1, Article V would be changed from “Every citizen of the United States … is entitled to vote in all elections”, to “Only a citizen of the United States … is entitled to vote in all elections”.  

This measure would prohibit non-citizens from voting in Ohio statewide or local elections.

HJR4 was first introduced on May 17, 2022, and was sponsored by Rep. Jay Edwards (R-94) and Rep. Bill Seitz (R-30). It passed the Ohio General Assembly a week later, on May 25, 2022. 

“This is about the integrity of our elections,” Edwards said in a statement after HJR4 passed the Assembly, “Citizenship matters. We are being proactive to ensure our election laws are clear and unambiguous. I believe this is an issue most Ohioans, regardless of party affiliation, will support.”

Previously, the council of the Village of Yellow Springs, Ohio, passed a charter amendment to allow all residents who are at least 16 years old to vote in local elections, as well as allowing non-U.S. citizens to be eligible to vote. Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose issued an order stating that non-citizens in the Village of Yellow Springs could not vote or register to vote.

Democrats and Republicans in the Ohio State Senate unanimously voted for the amendment to pass, while in the General Assembly, the vote was 68-28. All 28 ‘no’ votes were from Democratic assembly members, while 5 Democrats and 63 Republicans voted for the measure.

Secretary LaRose released the following statement after the Senate vote. “To reiterate, Ohio elections are only for Ohio citizens,” he stated, “The right to vote is sacrosanct and fundamental to what citizenship means in America and is why so many immigrate from around the world to the U.S., wait their turn in line, and go through the laborious citizenship process so they too can participate in this hallmark of democracy.”

Gary Daniels, Chief Lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio, opposes the measure. “It is clear this latest effort has nothing to do with policy and everything to do with politics,” he stated, “Ohio law is explicit with regard to voter eligibility and citizenship, making HJR 4 and SJR 6 and the rush to put this matter on the ballot 100% unnecessary.”

This amendment joins three other voting-related ballot measures in other states certified for 2022 elections—in Alabama, Arizona, and Connecticut. The policies of these measures range from voter ID requirements for in-person and mail-in voting, such as the currently certified Arizona measure, or policies to authorize early voting, which is what a certified Connecticut measure would do.

In Ohio, a total of 26 legislatively referred constitutional amendments have been approved by voters, while 4 amendments have been defeated, since 1985.

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Federal court enacts legislative maps for Ohio’s 2022 elections

A ruling issued by the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit took effect on May 28, ordering the enactment of state legislative maps for Ohio’s 2022 elections and setting the legislative primary date for August 2, 2022. The Ohio Redistricting Commission approved the maps selected by the court in February 2022. The court ruled on April 20 and said the maps would take effect if state court proceedings had not produced an alternative by May 28.

The Ohio Redistricting Commission initially approved a set of legislative maps in a 5-2 vote along party lines on September 16, 2021. The Ohio Supreme Court struck down those maps in a 4-3 decision on January 12, 2022, and ordered the commission to redraw them. Since then, the state supreme court has rejected four sets of maps submitted by the commission, including the February maps enacted by the federal court. The commission initially approved those maps on February 24 in a 4-3 vote and approved them a second time on May 5 in a 4-3 vote. State Auditor Keith Faber (R) joined the two Democratic members of the commission in voting against the maps. The state supreme court rejected both submissions. 

The state court proceedings are ongoing, with another deadline for revised maps set for June 3. The federal ruling applies to the maps for 2022 elections, meaning the state court proceedings may produce maps for subsequent legislative elections.

As of May 28, 49 states have adopted new state legislative maps, making Montana the final state to have not adopted legislative maps for the 2022 elections. As of May 28, 2012, 46 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, states have completed legislative redistricting for 1,923 of 1,972 state Senate seats (97.5%) and 5,313 of 5,411 state House seats (98.2%).

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Ohio Republican candidates have spent $5.77 million more than Democrats

In Ohio, state-level candidates spent $22.68 million between Jan. 1, 2021, and Apr. 13, 2022. Democratic candidates spent $8.30 million and Republican candidates spent $14.07 million. 

Ohio Campaign Finance Snapshot (1/1/2021 – 4/13/2022)

Source: Transparency USA

Top 10 Democratic candidates, by expenditures (1/1/2021 – 4/13/2022)

In the 2022 election cycle, 174 state-level Democrats have filed campaign finance reports with the Ohio Secretary of State. Here are the 10 Democratic candidates who have spent the most.

RankDemocratic CandidateTotal Spent
1.Nan Whaley$3,452,969.04
2.John Cranley$2,704,725.04
3.David Leland$220,874.66
4.Jennifer Brunner$144,346.93
5.Emilia Sykes$100,849.21
6.Sean O’Brien$88,804.66
7.Nickie Antonio$88,738.48
8.Teresa Fedor$86,822.83
9.Kristin Boggs$83,352.73
10.Chelsea Clark$76,697.16

Top 10 Republican candidates, by expenditures (1/1/2021 – 4/13/2022)

During the same time period, 196 Republicans have filed campaign finance reports with the Ohio Secretary of State. These are the 10 Republican candidates with the highest reported expenditures for the 2022 election cycle so far.

RankRepublican CandidateTotal Spent
1.Richard Michael DeWine$3,683,457.38
2.James Renacci$2,914,514.13
3.Frank Larose$581,071.55
4.Joe Blystone$542,256.20
5.Matthew Huffman$530,188.08
6.Matthew Dolan$224,496.21
7.Robert McColley$208,957.50
8.Jay Hottinger$203,691.19
9.David Yost$196,235.79
10.Sharon Kennedy$196,183.13

In some states, officeholders may make expenditures from their campaign accounts when they are not up for election. Those expenditures are included in candidate campaign finance numbers.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Ohio candidate PACs submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2021 Annual1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary4/21/2022
2022 Post-Primary6/10/2022
2022 Semiannual7/29/2022
2022 Pre-General10/27/2022
2022 Post-General12/16/2022

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Facebook was paid $19,924 from Ohio campaign accounts; other states reported millions

In Ohio, state-level candidates and PACs have spent $19,924 from their campaign accounts on services from Facebook in the 2022 election cycle so far. Facebook received 0.03 percent of all reported expenditures. 

According to reports filed with the Ohio Secretary of State between Jan. 1, 2021, and Apr. 13, 2022, here are the top candidates and PACs that have spent campaign funds with Facebook.

Top 10 Ohio campaigns spending money with Facebook

Of the $19,924 spent with Facebook, 90.95 percent came from these 10 campaign accounts.

Top Campaign Expenditures with Facebook (1/1/2021 – 4/13/2022)

RankTotal Paid to FacebookNameAccount Type
1.$9,505.17Joe BlystoneCandidate PAC
2.$2,864.63Casey WeinsteinCandidate PAC
3.$2,249.82Phillip RobinsonCandidate PAC
4.$866.91The MatriotsNon-candidate PAC
5.$594.61Christian JohnsonCandidate PAC
6.$532.83Juanita BrentCandidate PAC
7.$458.88Gary ClickCandidate PAC
8.$378.03Theresa GavaroneCandidate PAC
9.$350.00Pickaway County Patriot AllianceNon-candidate PAC
10.$319.14Summit County Democratic Party Executive Committee Restricted FundNon-candidate PAC

Campaign expenditures with Facebook in 12 states

Campaign expenditures vary widely. Here is how spending with Facebook in Ohio compares to 12 other states with data available from Transparency USA for the most recent election cycle:

Comparison of total campaign finance expenditures with Facebook, by state

RankStateTotal Paid to FacebookReporting Period
1California$5,290,7451/1/2021- 4/23/2022
2Virginia$4,486,8631/1/2020-12/31/2021*
3Texas$2,675,2761/1/2021 – 5/14/2022
4Michigan$194,1801/1/2021 – 4/20/2022
5Minnesota$166,0721/1/2021 – 3/31/2022
6Arizona123,1541/1/2021 – 3/31/2022
7Pennsylvania$106,5131/1/2021 – 3/9/2022
8Wisconsin$101,9781/1/2021 – 3/21/2022
9North Carolina$78,9601/1/2021 – 4/30/2022
10Florida$38,5421/1/2021 – 3/31/202
11Indiana$29,5341/1/2021 – 4/8/2022
12Ohio$19,9241/1/2021 – 4/13/2022
*Virginia’s two-year election cycles end in an odd-numbered year. The first available reports for Virginia’s 2023 election cycle are due Jul. 17, 2022.

While spending varies widely between states, no state on Transparency USA has reported more than 1.06 percent of total campaign expenditures on services from Facebook in the most recent cycle.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Ohio PACs submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2021 Annual1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary4/21/2022
2022 Post-Primary6/10/2022
2022 Semiannual7/29/2022
2022 Pre-General10/27/2022
2022 Post-General12/16/2022

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Ohio Secretary of State raises $1.75 million this election cycle

According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose has raised $1.75 million and spent $581,072 between Jan. 1, 2021 and Apr. 13, 2022. LaRose is currently ranked fifth in state-level donations in the 2022 election cycle.

LaRose is a member of the Republican Party and assumed office in 2019. In Ohio, the secretary of state is an elected position. Duties vary by state but are generally administrative in nature and may include recordkeeping, certification of state documents, and serving as chief election official. LaRose is running for reelection in 2022.

LaRose’s reported campaign finance activity, by quarter (2017-2022)

Source: Transparency USA

Contributions to LaRose

Of the $1,747,725 already reported in the 2022 election cycle, 9.26 percent came from the top 10 donors.

Top Donors to LaRose (1/1/2021 – 4/13/2022)

RankTotal AmountDonor NameDonor Type
1.$39,116.78Orp PACENTITY
2.$15,000.00Susan B and James A Haslam IIIINDIVIDUAL
3.$13,704.41John PritzkerINDIVIDUAL
4.$13,704.41Reid Garrett HoffmanINDIVIDUAL
5.$13,700.00Adam A ThomariosINDIVIDUAL
6.$13,700.00Heather L WrightselINDIVIDUAL
7.$13,700.00Jason S LucarelliINDIVIDUAL
8.$13,700.00Thomas A LaroseINDIVIDUAL
9.$13,000.00Samuel R WaltonINDIVIDUAL
10.$12,500.00Thrive Companies PACENTITY

Expenditures by LaRose

On the expenditures side, LaRose reported $581,072, with 73.88 percent of all spending going to the 10 payees topping this list. 

Top Expenditures by LaRose (1/1/2021 – 4/13/2022)

RankTotal AmountPayee NamePayee Type
1.$100,000.00Strategic Media Placement IncENTITY
2.$84,417.28Dudley GroupENTITY
3.$70,500.00Red Brick StrategiesENTITY
4.$42,500.00Apx StrategiesENTITY
5.$35,286.67Right Digital LLCENTITY
6.$31,500.00Advictory LLCENTITY
7.$25,812.49Strategy Group for Media IncENTITY
8.$14,662.73Qwestcom Graphics IncENTITY
9.$12,615.24StripeENTITY
10.$12,000.00Fulcrum Campaign StrategiesENTITY

How donations to LaRose compare to the same office in other states

Contributions vary widely among officeholders in the same role. A number of factors, including whether the position is appointed or elected, can influence donor activity. Here is how LaRose compares to the 10 other state and commonwealth secretaries with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA in 2022:

Across the U.S., 27 secretaries of state are members of the Republican Party and 20 are members of the Democratic Party. Voters elect the secretary of state in 35 states, while they are appointed by either the governor or state legislature in the other 12. Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah do not have secretaries of state. In 2022, 27 states are holding elections for the position.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Ohio PACs submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2021 Annual1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary4/21/2022
2022 Post-Primary6/10/2022
2022 Semiannual7/29/2022
2022 Pre-General10/27/2022
2022 Post-General12/16/2022

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Here are the top 10 places Ohio candidates and PACs are spending campaign money

In Ohio politics, state-level candidates and PACs spent $59.24 million between Jan. 1, 2021, and Apr. 13, 2022. More than $10.65 million or 17.98 percent of all campaign finance expenditures went to the 10 payees at the top of the list. 

A payee is an entity or individual who has received money from a campaign account. Candidates and PACs must report campaign expenditures, including payments to vendors, donations to other campaign accounts, and bank transfers, to the Ohio Secretary of State.

Top 10 Ohio payees (1/1/2021 – 4/13/2022)

Here are the top 10 recipients of Ohio campaign money in the 2022 election cycle, as of the most recent reports. 

RankPayee Name Total Received
1.SRCP Media Inc$2,352,953.88
2.Al Media$1,633,120.00
3.Sage Media$1,202,723.10
4.Ascent Media LLC$1,108,185.84
5.Advanced Micro Targeting Inc$1,050,000.00
6.Left Hook Communications$1,000,000.00
7.Paychex$715,733.82
8.National Payment Corporation$576,729.83
9.Minnesota Democratic Farm Labor Party$560,000.00
10.Red Brick Strategies$451,001.96

Total Expenditures in nine states during the 2022 election cycle

Campaign finance expenditures vary widely among state-level candidates and PACs. A number of factors, including state-specific campaign finance regulations, influence how expenditure activity varies across states. Here is how total campaign finance expenditures in Ohio compared to eight other states with data available from Transparency USA for the 2022 election cycle:

Comparison of total expenditures, by state

RankStateTotal ExpendituresReporting Period
1Texas$337,432,3511/1/2022 – 2/19/2022
2Pennsylvania$319,374,3891/1/2022 – 3/9/2022
3Florida$302,254,1341/1/2022 – 2/28/2022
4Michigan$71,971,7871/1/2022 – 4/20/2022
5Arizona63,716,6171/1/2022 – 3/31/2022
6Ohio$59,240,3971/1/2022 – 4/13/2022
7Wisconsin$34,706,0221/1/2022 – 3/21/2022
8Indiana$32,159,3981/1/2022 – 4/8/2022
9North Carolina$22,543,0371/1/2022 – 12/31/2021

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Ohio PACs submitted to the Ohio Secretary of State. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2021 Annual1/31/2022
2022 Pre-Primary4/21/2022
2022 Post-Primary6/10/2022
2022 Semiannual7/29/2022
2022 Pre-General10/27/2022
2022 Post-General12/16/2022

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.



Vance wins Ohio Senate Republican primary

J.D. Vance defeated six other candidates in the May 3 Republican primary for U.S. Senate in Ohio, including Matt Dolan, Mike Gibbons, Josh Mandel, and Jane Timken. Vance received 31.3% of the vote, while Mandel, Dolan, Gibbons, and Timken received 24.3%, 21.9%, 12%, and 6.6%, respectively. Incumbent Rob Portman (R), who was first elected in 2010, did not file to run for re-election. 

Vance will face Democrat Tim Ryan in the Nov. 8 general election. 

Vance served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2003 to 2007, before working in venture capital in San Francisco. In 2016, he wrote Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir about growing up in Middletown, Ohio. Vance campaigned on bringing manufacturing back to Ohio, fixing the country’s immigration system and completing the wall along the southern border, and breaking up large technology companies.

Politico‘s Alex Isenstadt wrote that “[t]he Senate race in Ohio is a high-profile example of how Trump is dominating Republican down-ballot primaries, and how his support is seen as make-or-break for those seeking the party’s nomination.”

For much of the race, Vance lagged behind Mandel and Gibbons in polling. However, following Donald Trump’s (R) April 15 endorsement of his campaign, polls showed Vance in first place. 

The Los Angeles Times’ Melanie Mason wrote Vance’s win will “add another notch to Trump’s tally of winners he’s endorsed — a favorite metric of his — and more broadly, reinforce that his influence remains strong in a state he won handily in both 2016 and 2020.”

In 2020, Trump defeated Joe Biden (D) in Ohio 53.3% to 45.2%. In 2016, Trump defeated Hillary Clinton in Ohio 51.7% to 43.6%.

Dolan was elected to the Ohio State Senate in 2016. He campaigned on “expanding workplace freedoms, cutting taxes and getting government out of the way of Ohio’s leading job creators,” and fighting “to secure the border with walls, surveillance, virtual capabilities and personnel.” 

Gibbons, a businessman and investor, said his background in the private sector has prepared him for the U.S. Senate. Gibbons co-chaired former President Donald Trump’s (R) 2016 campaign in Ohio, and said “I don’t believe we had a president that did more for this country in my lifetime than Donald Trump did.”

Mandel served as Ohio Treasurer from 2011 to 2019. Mandel said “when I get to Washington, I’m not just going to drain the swamp, I’m going to blow up the swamp. And yes, I’ll be taking on the secular left, yes, I’ll be taking on the radical left. But with as much ferocity and strength and force, I’m going to take on the squishy establishment RINO Republicans,” a group he said included Utah Sen. Mitt Romney (R), Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney (R), and Ohio Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R).

Timken served as the chairwoman of the Ohio Republican Party from 2017 to 2021. Timken said her experience leading the Ohio Republican Party showed she could unite the party: “As soon as I became chair, I realized that I needed to bring people together. We had new Republicans that came into the party because of President Trump. We had some that drifted away. I successfully unified the party when I became chair, and so I have a real understanding of building a broad base and coalition of support.”

Neil Patel and Mark Pukita also ran in the primary.



Tim Ryan wins Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate in Ohio

Tim Ryan defeated Morgan Harper and Traci Johnson in the Democratic primary for Ohio’s U.S. Senate seat on May 3, 2022. Based on unofficial totals, Ryan received 73% of the vote, Harper received 16% of the vote, and Johnson received 11% of the vote. 

Ryan will face J.D. Vance (R) and five other candidates in the general election on Nov. 8. U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R) did not run for re-election.

Ryan was elected to the U.S. House in 2002. Ryan campaigned on a range of economic issues, including revitalizing the state’s manufacturing industry, a federal $15 minimum wage, the PRO Act, renegotiating existing foreign trade deals, and expanding affordable healthcare. According to the Dayton Daily News, Ryan’s campaign focused primarily on blue-collar workers and issues.

Donald Trump (R) won Ohio by eight percentage points in 2016 and 2020. Portman won re-election in 2016 by 19 percentage points. Sherrod Brown (D), Ohio’s other U.S. senator, last won re-election in 2018 by seven percentage points. Three independent race forecasters consider the race between Lean Republican and Solid Republican.



LaRose defeats Adams in Ohio Secretary of State Republican primary

Incumbent Frank LaRose defeated John Adams in the May 3, 2022, Republican Party primary for Ohio Secretary of State. As of Wednesday morning, LaRose had received 66% of the vote to Adams’ 34%. LaRose will face Democratic primary winner Chelsea Clark (D) in the general election on Nov. 8.

LaRose was elected Ohio Secretary of State in 2018, defeating Kathleen Clyde (D) 51% to 47%. He is a U.S. Army veteran and worked as a business manager and project lead for a consulting firm. LaRose represented Ohio State Senate District 27 from 2011 to 2018. LaRose emphasized his experience in the Ohio Senate and as secretary of state, saying he “sponsored legislation to modernize online voter registration, audit election results to verify their accuracy, cut burdensome regulation on small business, and protect our freedoms and values.” LaRose received endorsements from former President Donald Trump (R) and at least 10 members of Congress, including Rep. Bill Johnson (R) and Sen. Rob Portman (R).

Adams is a U.S. Army and U.S. Navy veteran and founder of Francis Furniture Store. He represented Ohio House of Representatives District 85 from 2007 to 2014. Adams also ran for Ohio State Senate District 12 in 2016 but was defeated by Matt Huffman (R) in the Republican primary 64% to 36%. Adams said “there were shenanigans that went on” in the 2020 election and “there are questions that have not been resolved yet.” Adams said he “has had the life experience – as a Navy SEAL, as a small businessman, as a civic leader, as a husband and father – to successfully protect and advance our common values.” Ohio Value Voters, a 501(c)(4) organization whose “purpose has been to educate, inform, and influence voters and elected officials,” endorsed Adams.

Election security and allegations of voter fraud in the 2020 general election were key issues in the race. Adams criticized LaRose for moving the March 2020 Ohio primary elections from March to June and said he ran because “we had an election two years ago, and I woke up the next morning and I said, ‘You gotta be kidding me. There’s no way that Trump lost. No way.'” LaRose said the “mainstream media is trying to minimize voter fraud to suit their narrative” and “President Donald Trump is right to say that voter fraud is a serious problem.”

The secretary is the state’s chief election officer and keeper of the state seal. They license businesses and corporations and keep records of all official gubernatorial actions. A Republican has held the Ohio secretary of state office since 2010, when incumbent Jennifer L. Brunner (D) vacated the office and Jon Husted (R) defeated Maryellen O’Shaughnessy (D) 54% to 42%.