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One Democratic incumbent succeeds, another fails

Going into the election Tuesday, two veteran Southern Ohio lawmakers -- both Democrats -- had their sights set on holding onto their seat. One of them succeeded, but the other failed.

Congressman Ted Strickland (D-Lucasville) had little trouble defeating Republican hopeful Mike Halleck in the race for the 6th Congressional District seat, but State Sen. Mike Shoemaker (D-Bournville) lost his office to former State Rep. John Carey (R-Wellston).

In the race for Congress, Strickland tallied 112,109 votes to Halleck's 76,594. Lawrence Countians voted in favor of Strickland by a 9,162-6,480 clip. In all, Strickland won in all 12 counties in the district, including Halleck's home, Columbiana, by a slim 15,335-15,216 count.

Shoemaker, meanwhile, ran well in his native Ross County, and its neighbors, Pike and Pickaway counties, but struggled in the other seven counties in the 17th District. In all, Carey won by a 47,981-41,093 margin. Carey served as a state representative to the 94th District, but was unable to seek reelection due to term limitations.

In races for the Ohio House, Democrat Todd Book bested Republican Harold Sayre 19,058-13,402 in the 89th District, and Republican Clyde Evans outpolled Democrat Fred Deel 17,792-14,147 in the 87th District. All four men were political newcomers.

From staff reports