Heath: What I'm Watching On Election Night
Here is what I'm watching on this election night:
1) The fate of the Columbus Zoo levy
My gut intuition is that the Zoo's plan was too ambitious for voters. Too big, too expansive, too expensive.
It also garnered the attention of Americans for Prosperity - a conservative group out of Washington run by the Koch brothers.
The basic premise of Americans for Prosperity on tax issues is "vote no." And they raise and spend money to back up that message.
Jack Hanna told me that he's told his staff that they "did nothing wrong" in this campaign and that zoo officials - if necessary after today's vote - will start work on another levy that will hit the ballot box as early as this fall.
Expect it to be much simpler in scope.
2. Delaware County Commissioner race
This is one craziest campaigns of the year.
Delaware County Commissioner Ken O'Brien, who is just one year into his four year term, is running for another seat on the very same board.
He wanted to pick the replacement of his colleague Don Stapleton who is retiring.
When that didn't work out, O'Brien jumped in the race.
He faces strong opposition from Genoa Township Trustee Barb Lewis.
If O'Brien wins, he would have the distinction of holding the very same office...at the same time.
3) Tea party influence in Delaware County
The fight for Republican Central Committee seats in Delaware County will give us a good indication on the true power of the tea party.
55 of the 143 seats are being challenged.
Many pit more moderate or conservative GOP candidates against far-right tea partiers.
The Delaware County GOP has become a pit of negative infighting with charges and counter charges - many personality based.
4) Sheriff versus Commissioner
On the Democratic side, things have really gotten ugly between Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott and Commissioner John O'Grady in a race for the Franklin County Democratic Central Committee.
Scott took O'Grady to the Ohio Elections Commission, accusing him of falsifying endorsements on his literature.
Scott also accused his fellow Democrats on the county election board of voter suppression in an effort to keep him off the primary election ballot.
The race has further exposed a giant rift in the local Democratic Party.
5) The pot petitions
Supporters of medical marijuana had hoped to have volunteers at every precinct across the state tonight in an attempt to get the issue on the November ballot.
From what we're hearing early, that effort has fallen short.
Supporters say even if they reach their goal of 600,000 signatures, they may hold the issue until next year or 2016.
According to his campaign, Gov John Kasich early voted two weeks ago and has no public appearances planned tonight as he becomes - again - the official Republican nominee for governor.
Ed FitzGerald and his running mate Sheren Neuhardt plan to celebrate with supporters at the state Democratic Party tonight.
The Ohio Republican Party - with a slate of statewide incumbents - plan no official party tonight.
The Ohio Democratic Party - with a slate of statewide challengers - plans a party at their headquarters in Columbus.