By LOU WILIN
U.S. Reps. Bob Latta and Jim Jordan, both Republicans, on Tuesday cruised to re-election to represent Ohio’s 5th and 4th congressional districts, respectively.
With 97 percent of precincts reporting late Tuesday, Latta, R-Bowling Green, received 171,903 votes, or 62.6 percent, to represent Hancock, Wyandot, Hardin, Putnam, Henry, Wood, and all or part of eight other northwest Ohio counties in the U.S. House.
Jordan, R-Urbana, received 164,640 votes, or 65.4 percent, to represent Seneca, Allen and all or part of 12 other counties in the U.S. House.
All vote totals are unofficial and include absentee ballots.
While news accounts have been abuzz for weeks predicting a blue wave flipping numerous congressional seats, no one predicted the 4th or 5th districts in Ohio would switch their red colors.
Latta’s Democratic opponent, J. Michael Galbraith, received 95,856 votes, or 34.9 percent. Libertarian Donald Kissick got 7,087 votes or 2.6 percent.
In Hancock County, Latta received 19,718 votes, or 70.7 percent; Galbraith, 7,472 votes; Kissick, 715 votes.
Latta was not ready to concede late Tuesday night whether Democrats had won a majority in the House.
“If there is going to be a flip, I think it’s going to be very small,” he said. “I don’t think there was what they call the big blue wave that the Democrats kept saying, and maybe the national media was saying, was going to happen.”
“I think people looked at the economy,” Latta said. “They looked at how they were doing.”
The federal income tax cuts passed last December also helped. The unemployment rate is at its lowest in decades.
Latta, 62, of Bowling Green, is in his fifth full term representing the 5th District in the U.S. House.
In the 4th District, Jordan’s Democratic opponent, Janet Garrett, received 87,061 votes, or 34.6 percent.
Jordan, 54, is in his sixth term representing the 4th District.
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