Portage County Republicans gather for results



Janet Esposito, chairman of Republican Party in Portage County, sits at a table during the official Republican watch party of Portage County at the English Pub in Ravenna. Esposito watched as the Ohio results came in. Photo by Nancy Urchak.

The dwindling crowd of Portage County Republicans left their own watch party Tuesday after Barack Obama won Ohio. The announcement was quickly followed up with CNN’s projection that Obama had won it all.

But even more was at stake in the English Pub and Bistro where the Republicans reserved a room to watch the election results unfold on Fox News. Senator John Eklund, R-Ohio, of Ohio’s 18th District, stopped in for about 10 minutes to thank people for working just as hard for the campaign as the candidates. He also took the time to plug his own campaign.

“If I won, it would be a great responsibility and a humbling one,” Eklund said.

He said he looks forward to working to make Ohio a great place to live, work and raise a family.

Portage County Auditor Janet Esposito arrived at 7:25 p.m., saying, “Don’t know yet!” when asked how she was.

At 8:20 p.m., a large white board was brought out to display early results, eliciting both groans and cheers from attendees as the outcomes were announced.

Matt Lynch, R-Ohio, of Ohio’s 98th House District, arrived around 8:30 p.m. to meet with county Republicans. He said his polling numbers were encouraging.

“I’ve been getting thumbs-ups and OK signs,” Lynch said, jokingly asking what the one with “one finger” meant.

Lynch led attendees in a prayer, concluding with, “No matter what happens with the election, God is still on his throne.”

At 9:02 p.m., the second wave of Portage County results came in. Further groans and cheers from the party.

Fox News announced at 9:22 p.m. the Republican Party would retain control of the House of Representatives, drawing the greatest amount of applause yet.

At 9:49 p.m., the crowd began to thin as the third and fourth waves of votes were announced, as well as the news that the Democratic Party would retain control of the Senate.

At 10:15 p.m., the fifth wave of results, representing 67.4 percent of Ohio arrived with the vote leaning toward Barack Obama. As empty glasses and plates amassed, people grew anxious for the final announcements.

At 11:18 p.m. it was projected that Obama would take Ohio and win the election.

Contact Justine Stump at [email protected], Angela Pino at [email protected] and Aaron Kinney [email protected]