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Published: Wednesday, 11/5/2008

Democrats claim they have majority in Ohio House


COLUMBUS Democrats claim they ve captured control of the Ohio House after 14 years under Republicans.

It remains to be seen what the margin of that majority will be because of a couple of extremely close races that could come down to recounts. Republicans currently outnumber Democrats 53-46 in the chamber.

"I know our new Democratic House majority stands ready to work in a bipartisan manner to help create new jobs, improve access to health care, and help make our schools the best in the nation," said Gov. Ted Strickland. "They will serve as strong voices for their constituents in the House and will partner with me as we work to move Ohio forward."

Democrats needed a net gain of four seats to regain control of a chamber they haven t had since the days of Speaker Vern Riffe.

Early morning results in Wednesday in key battleground districts ultimately led Democrats to claim victory, noting definite pickups of Republican-held seats in six districts in the Columbus, Cleveland, Akron, and Cincinnati suburbs.

These were offset by a pair of Democratic losses. A Democratic incumbent fell in Cleveland s western suburbs and an open Norwalk-based district represented for the last two years by Democrats went back to Republicans.

That brought the math to a net gain of four seats with Democrats continuing to closely monitor three other tight races in currently Republican districts in the Columbus area and Athens.

Contact Jim Provance at: jprovance@theblade.com, or 614-221-0496.

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