Republican Attorney General Mike DeWine won a close race for governor in the key swing state of Ohio on Tuesday, dashing Democrats’ hopes of winning back the governor’s mansion.
DeWine defeated former Consumer Finance Protection Bureau Director Richard Cordray, according to projections by NBC News and ABC News.
DeWine’s victory represents a major relief for the GOP as Democrats hoped to regain a foothold in the swing state that has been under complete Republican control since 2011.
Despite the importance of the toss-up contest in the Buckeye State, the relatively muted race between the two bureaucrats was labeled the “battle of boring” by the local press. Polls remained consistently close and the campaign saw few of the headline-grabbing debate moments or outrageous campaign ads that garner national media attention.
The attorney general had to walk a fine line, keeping an arms’ distance from incumbent Gov. John Kasich as he sought to appeal to both the more moderate voters who backed Kasich and the state’s Trump-supporting base.
Healthcare was a key issue in the race. Kasich, one of the first Republican governors to expand Medicaid in his state under the Affordable Care Act, withheld his endorsement of DeWine until the GOP nominee reluctantly offered his support for it.