COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Republicans will continue their control over the Ohio Legislature, having secured enough seats in Tuesday's election to give them an edge in each chamber.
The GOP's victories mean that Republican Gov. John Kasich should have a smoother chance at getting his budget passed next session, along other legislative priorities such as workforce development and job training.
Republicans had majorities in both the House and Senate going into Election Day. Voters were choosing all 99 House members, along with 18 of 33 state senators.
It was a longshot for Democrats to take control of the Senate, which has been in GOP hands since 1985. Republicans have held a 23-10 advantage there for about the last two years.
How much more legislative power Republicans will have next year wasn't clear early Wednesday.
The GOP was trying to pick up an additional Senate seat, but it remained to be seen whether they'd be successful.
Democratic incumbent Sen. Lou Gentile, of Steubenville, was trying to fend off Republican Shane Thompson, of St. Clairsville, to keep his seat in a Democratic-leaning district in eastern Ohio. With 78 percent of precincts reporting, Gentile was leading with almost 52 percent of the vote.
Democrats were hoping to hang onto enough seats in the Ohio House to keep Republicans from more easily pulling off legislative maneuvers, such as suspending certain House rules or placing ballot issues before voters.
The GOP has a 59-40 edge in the House. The party needed only one additional seat to boost their legislative control.
It wasn't yet known what the final breakdown would be in the House. Three House races were too close to call.
Some Democrats had tougher races this fall after their political boundaries were redrawn by a Republican-dominated board. Legislative district lines are altered every 10 years to reflect population shifts after each census.
On the campaign trail, Democrats had tried to cast their Republican challengers as extreme, citing their favorable votes on abortion limits, collective bargaining restrictions and a state budget that squeezed local governments and school districts. The GOP candidates had countered that Republican economic policies had helped spur job growth in the state.
Democrats will have one of their biggest supporters back in the Statehouse next year. Chris Redfern, the chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party handedly won a House seat in northern Ohio, according to unofficial election results.
Republicans picked up an open Democratic seat in Richland County, where Republican Mark Romanchuk, a business owner, defeated Democrat Ellen Haring, a Mansfield city councilwoman.
But Democrats edged out at least one GOP incumbent in one northeast Ohio district, according to unofficial results.
Democrat John Patterson, a teacher from Jefferson, bested state Rep. Casey Kozlowski of Pierpont. Kozlowski had won his seat in 2010 by just 42 votes.
House Republicans had far outraised and outspent their Democratic counterparts heading into the final weeks before the election, according to last month campaign finance filings.