You Decide 2012 Coverage on Fox 8

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Throughout the campaign season, Ohio maintained the political spotlight as a key force in the presidential election and ultimately maintained its record of determining the White House winner.

“As Ohio goes, so goes the nation,” it is often said and often proven throughout history.

Moments after it was announced that Ohio had dedicated its 18 electoral votes to President Barack Obama, the race was called in his favor, leaving Gov. Mitt Romney in defeat.

Another heated battle was the Ohio Senate race that pitted incumbent Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown against Ohio treasurer Josh Mandel.

An aggressive campaign did not pay off for Mandel.  A combined $85 million was spent on the race for U.S. Senate, the largest in history.  

The 35-year-old Republican will head back to the Rhodes State Office Tower and his job as treasurer for the remaining two years.

Brown will keep his Senate seat for another six years and the Democrats will retain the majority in the U.S. Senate.

Meanwhile, the Republicans will maintain control of the House of Representatives.

In Ohio’s newly drawn 9th District, the Democratic incumbent Marcy Kaptur beat Samuel J. Wurzelbacher, also known as “Joe the Plumber,” to hold her place in Congress.

Kaptur is the longest-serving Democratic woman in the House.  She defeated fellow Democrat Dennis Kucinich in the primary.

Ohio’s District 16, which typically leans Republican, did so again this election when voters picked Jim Renacci over Betty Sutton by a narrow margin.

The two were battling to keep their congressional seats, as they were also in a merged district.

The race was one of only two in the nation that had two sitting U.S. representatives battling each other for the same seat.

State Issue 2, which determines how political boundaries are drawn in Ohio, was failing at the time of this report with 96 percent of precincts reporting.

The redistricting process will likely remain in the hands of the Ohio Apportionment Board with members including one state legislator from each party, the secretary of state, the auditor and Ohio’s governor.

Districts are redrawn every 10 years to coincide with the Census.

Issue 107, the Cleveland Municipal Schools levy, was the first measure requesting an increase in 16 years.

The levy passed
passed 57% to 43%.

The levy will cost an additional $150 a year on a $50,000 home in Cleveland.

South of Cleveland, the Akron Schools levy will increase property taxes as well.

A total of 59% of voters were in favor of Issue 61, while 41% were against.

It will cost an average of $15 per month for Akron homeowners.

The Cuyahoga County Elections Board said voting went smoothly and the election was free of any major problems.

A small issue arose when scanners would not read slightly torn ballots.  Another challenge was getting enough provisional ballot envelopes to a few precincts that needed them.

Read more on the races, levies and issues by visiting’s You Decide page.

(CNN and Fox 8’s Lindsay Buckingham, Bliss Davis, Dave Nethers, Bill Sheil and Gabe Spiegel contributed to this report.)

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