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Ohio Government and Politics

Ohio Government and Politics

State 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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