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Ohio Government and Politics

Ohio Government and Politics

April 2015 | 192 pages | CQ Press
Ohio Government and Politics provides a thorough, highly readable overview of the history, processes, and institutions of the state’s government and politics. In a country increasingly divided into blue and red states, Ohio is “purple” – one of the few states that is not dominated by a single political party. Covering the crucial strategies of both the republicans and democrats as they vie for power in Ohio, this new title demonstrates the “nationalizing” of Ohio politics. However, contemporary issues specific to Ohio politics are not neglected; coverage of important issues such charter reform in Cuyahoga County and the controversies over the regulation of "fracking" is included.

Chapter 1: The Politics of a Purple State
“Operation Clark County”  
Purple State Politics  
Chapter 2: A Brief History of Ohio
Ohio’s Path to Statehood  
The Ohio Constitution  
Chapter 3: The Ohio Legislature
Origins of the Ohio Legislature  
Candidates and Political Parties  
Legislative Term  
Legislative Vacancies  
Powers and Structures  
Legislative Leadership and Politics  
Legislative Staff  
How a Bill Becomes a Law in Ohio  
Legislative Oversight  
Current Issues  
Chapter 4: The Ohio Executive Branch
The Path to the Ohio Governor’s Office  
Ohio Governor’s Office  
The Roles of the Ohio Governor  
Ohio Executive Officers  
The Governor’s Cabinet  
Selected Cabinet Departments  
Selected Boards and Commissions  
Professional Licensing and Examination Boards  
Influence of Professional Associations  
Sunset Committee  
Chapter 5: Courts in Ohio
Mayor’s Courts  
Municipal and County Courts  
Courts of Common Pleas  
Courts of Appeals  
The Ohio Supreme Court  
Court of Claims  
Judicial Selection in Ohio  
Chapter 6: Local Government in Ohio
County Government  
Ohio Townships  
Ohio Municipal Government  
The Process of Incorporation  
Organizing the Municipality  
The Path to Local Government Reform  
Ohio’s Major Cities  
Home Rule  
Special Districts  
Public Records and Open Meetings  
Financing of Local Governments  
State Fiscal Oversight of Local Governments  
Chapter 7: Financing the State Government of Ohio
The Ohio Budget  
Property Tax  
The Budget Process in Ohio  
The Mid-Biennium Review (MBR)  
Expenditures: Where State Funds Go in Ohio  
Executive Budget Cutting  
The Capital Budget  
The Transportation Budget  
Budget Execution  
The Controlling Board  
Chapter 8: Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Elections in Ohio
Major and Minor Parties in Ohio  
Party Organizations  
Party Politics  
State Parties and Elections  
Campaign Finance in Ohio  
Interest Groups  
Chapter 9: Direct Democracy in Ohio
The Initiative  
The Referendum  
Right to Work  
Same-Sex Marriage  
Term Limits  
Voting Reforms  
Defining and Controlling Illegal and Legal Substances  

“Ohio Government and Politics provides an excellent and succinct overview of Ohio politics. This text fills the gap in texts I’ve been looking for: an explanation of, specifically, Ohio politics and their history, without overwhelming the reader with additional information.”

Robert Leonard
Sinclair Community College

“I think this book fills a hole in the textbook world. I was always surprised at the lack of texts dedicated to the politics of a state that plays such a heavy role in national elections. This text seems to fit the bill and fill the gap in availability. It provides a brief, yet comprehensive, look at politics in the Buckeye state.” 

Nicole Kalaf-Hughes
Bowling Green State University

“Srarcic and Binning offer a well-designed and overdue comprehensive text in Ohio Politics. I find the availability of this text refreshing and exciting. Ohio is an excellent state for a case study comparison to broad national-level conceptions. I would argue that this text would not only be important to those teaching Ohio-specific courses but also state and local and contemporary government courses in many states.”

Nichole Fifer
Washington & Jefferson College
Key features


  • The book uses contemporary, relevant examples and links them to the discussion of well-known academic studies of Ohio politics, giving students a better understanding of essential topics. 
  • A discussion of the Electoral College explains Ohio's critical role in presidential elections and highlights the connection of Ohio politics to national elections and politics.
  • The book introduces students to important figures in Ohio political history, including influential governors and party leaders.

Sample Materials & Chapters

Chapter 1

Chapter 8

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