EVERY VOTE COUNTS: Several elections involving BFA endorsees hang on less than one half of one percent

by Chad D. Baus & Jim Irvine

Every election season, articles are published on this website imploring pro-gun rights supporters to volunteer for candidates, to rally their friends and family, and to get to the polls and vote for pro-gun rights candidates. "Every vote counts," is the battle cry.

And in every election, a few races are decided by fractions of a percent of the total votes cast.

2010 has proven to be no different. This year we had three races that are pending on less than one half of one percent of votes count in their race (before provisional ballots are counted, and the automatic recount is triggered.) In fact, in one race that is destined for an automatic recount, a BFA-endorsed candidate is behind by just five votes!

Judge of Court of Appeals - District 11

Candidate % of Voters Number of Votes
Wright, Thomas (NP) 50.21% 104,646
Lucci, Eugene (NP) 49.79% 103,753

In this critical judicial race, BFA-endorsed Eugene Lucci is trailing his opponent by just 893 votes (0.42%) out of more than 208,000 cast.

In two separate contests for State Representative, our endorsed are separated by 0.01% and 0.16%.

In the first race, our endorsee was incumbent State Rep. Deborah Newcomb. Newcomb earned an A -rating from BFA. Her Republican opponent earned a B. The race is separated by just 51 votes (0.16%).

State Representative - House District 99

Candidate % of Voters Number of Votes
Kozlowski, Casey (R) 40.90% 12,811
Newcomb, Deborah (D) 40.74% 12,760
Roesch, Tammy (I) 18.36% 5,752

The 51 votes that separate the candidates is made more significant by the 5,752 votes that went to the independent candidate. Had only 1% of the votes that went to the independent candidate gone to Newcomb, she would be leading in this race.

In the second race, Mike Wilson (R), a BFA-endorsed non-incumbent who earned the hightest rating that a candidate can receive when we only have a survey on which to base the grade (B*), is trailing by just five votes. (A minor party candidate took 1,064 presumably pro-gun votes.) Wilson's Democrat opponent, the incumbent, did not submit a BFA candidate survey in either 2008 or 2010, and did not have the opportunity to cast a vote on gun-related legislation during her first term in office.

State Representative - House District 28

Candidate % of Voters Number of Votes
Pillich, Connie (D) 48.72% 20,161
Wilson, Mike (R) 48.71% 20,156
Callaghan, Bryant (L) 2.57% 1,064

Anyone can influence five votes. Anyone can determine the winner in a close race. If only we could predict which race would come down to a few votes before the election. We can't predict which race, but we know from experience that one of our endorsed candidates will win or lose on an incredibly small percentage of the votes cast. This is why each volunteer is critical and greatly appreciated by the candidates.

Mike Wilson is seeking financial assistance to aid him in ensuring the recount is a fair and unbiased. You can find out more and make a donation to him here. Keep in mind that Ohio residents can make up to a $50/person or $100/couple donation to state candidates and receive an offsetting Ohio income tax credit. (You get your entire donation back in your 2010 Ohio income tax return.)

When it comes to observing how independent or minor party voting impacted races involving gun rights, there is one more contest worth noting:

Attorney General

Candidate % of Voters Number of Votes
DeWine, Mike (R) 47.80% 1,782,821
Cordray, Richard (D) 45.98% 1,714,972
Owens, Robert (C) 3.41% 127,081
Feldman, Marc (L) 2.80% 104,554

Pro-gun Democrat Richard Cordray lost to Mike DeWine, who was once named among the Top 10 anti-gun U.S. Senators, by 67,849 votes (1.82%). Had 30% of the presumably pro-gun votes cast for the minor party candidates been cast for Mr. Cordray, gun owners and concealed handgun license-holders could have continued to be secure in the knowledge that their rights would be protected by the chief law enforcement officer in the State of Ohio.

Every election there are races that won/lost on less than 1% of the votes cast. Every race matters and every vote counts. Getting involved in a race ensures that you do your part to help in these important elections. We thank all our volunteers who were involved in this year's elections.

Jim Irvine is the Buckeye Firearms Association Chairman. Chad D. Baus is the Buckeye Firearms Association Vice Chairman.

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