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The clock ran out’ on Republicans

Cameras encompassed a hotel ballroom as eager Republicans awaited yesterday’s midterm election results.

The evening kicked off with calm socializing and optimistic tension, while members of the Ohio Republican Party watched the polling results at Columbus’ Hyatt Regency on two large, catty-cornered television screens.

“I’m positive, I’ve had a positive outlook since the beginning,” said Noli Goode, Ohio Republican Party phone bank captain. “I think we’re going to see some [positive] surprises tonight.”

A Columbus resident also felt optimistic about the evening.

“I still feel there’s a very good chance that there may be an upset victory over Ted Strickland,” said Columbus resident Martha Huey, who worked many years for Ken Blackwell and helped with his campaigning this year.

However, as the night wore on, indications of disappointing results slowly seeped into the many faces sprinkled about the room.

“I’m afraid it’s going to be a disappointing evening,” said Lisbon, Ohio, resident Rob Bike. “There’re a lot of things from the past that have made it a tough evening.”

Bike mentioned some of the recent scandals and attributed the bad publicity to a big part of the night’s losses, saying unfortunately this caused the state to miss out on gaining several good, qualified people.

“Politics is a cyclical thing,” he said, adding that now, the Democratic Party will have to show they can run this government.

Despite the disenchantment around the room, upbeat pop tunes, old and new, continued to emanate from the ceiling speakers as streams of people flowed in and out of the room.

Within the hour, Blackwell delivered his concession speech that both inspired and gave hope to the conservative audience.

He started his speech with a quote borrowed from legendary Green Bay Packer’s coach Vince Lombardi.

“We never lost a game, sometimes the clock just ran out on us,” he said.

“The clock of this election ran out on us,” Blackwell told his audience, causing many mutters of agreement.

Blackwell said he was “in it for the long haul” and mentioned talking to Ted Strickland about working together.

He also stressed unity in his speech, emphasizing the importance of everyone working together in this diverse state.

“This evening, the debate must change to a civil conversation,” he said. “To work with our loyal opposition ” now is the time for us to unite.”

Despite Blackwell’s words of encouragement and faith, some people shed tears or shook their heads during his speech.

An Ohio State University student stressed why she felt the wrong person was in the governor’s position.

“I feel that [Blackwell’s] education plan would have been better for education and college students,” senior Heidi Welch said, adding that she’s graduating soon and is not looking forward to a tax raise she believes is most likely to happen now.

“I’m not under the wing of my parents anymore and am going to be paying taxes,” she said. “Having Ted Strickland as our governor doesn’t make me very excited for the simple fact that I’m going to be paying his taxes.”

Shortly after Blackwell’s speech came an equally encouraging speech from Mike DeWine despite his loss for U.S. senator.

“I’m a lucky man because for 30 years, the people of this state have given me the precious opportunity to represent them, for that I’m eternally grateful,” he said. “And I intend to continue to fight for the people of Ohio and to solve our problems.”

DeWine also stressed unity in the state and told everyone that he called Sherrod Brown and told him that he would help him in any way with the transition and wished him well.

“It was not to be. This was not the year,” he said, of his election. “We couldn’t win ” but there is unfinished business. I have unfinished business.”

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