Ohio voters today defeated the state's new collective bargaining law after an expensive union-backed campaign that pitted firefighters, police officers, and teachers against the Republican establishment. In a political blow to GOP Gov. John Kasich, voters handily rejected the law, which would have limited the bargaining abilities of 350,000 unionized public workers. Labor and business interests poured more than $30 million into the nationally watched campaign, and turnout was high for an off-year election.
The law hadn't taken effect yet. Today's result means the state's current union rules will stand, at least until the GOP-controlled legislature determines its next move. "Ohio sent a message to every politician out there: Go in and make war on your employees rather than make jobs with your employees, and you do so at your own peril," said AFL-CIO chief Richard Trumka. Elsewhere:
- Voters in Kentucky easily re-elected Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear to another term.
- In Mississippi, Lt. Gov. Phil Bryant won to keep the governor's mansion in Republican hands. He succeeds the term-limited Haley Barbour.