WASHINGTON, D.C. — Despite Joe Biden winning the Electoral College and popular vote, less than half of Ohio’s 13 Republicans in Congress have publicly acknowledged Biden as president-elect.
President Donald Trump is continuing to falsely claim he won the race and falsely allege widespread fraud, though bipartisan election officials across the country have said there’s no evidence of that.
Multiple requests for comment have been made to all 13 lawmakers, but as of Tuesday, Dec. 15 at 5 p.m., only six responded and recognized Biden as the incoming president.
Two of them, Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R, 16th Congressional District) and Rep. Steve Stivers (R, 15th Congressional District), were the only Ohio Republicans to publicly acknowledge it before Monday’s Electoral College vote.
Below are the full statements sent from each member who has responded. This article will be updated as more statements come in.
Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) in a Dec. 14 statement:
“In accordance with the Constitution and federal law, the Electoral College cast their votes for President today. The Electors met in their respective state following certification of the results. I think we need to respect this process the Founding Fathers established, and we must respect the will of the voters. As I’ve said previously, the Trump campaign had every right to pursue recounts and legal challenges. That has now happened over the past six weeks, and although there were instances of fraud and irregularities, it has not been shown to be widespread enough to change the result of the election. States must take seriously the proven examples of fraud and irregularities, prosecute anyone who engaged in it, and review voting systems to maintain the integrity of our elections. The transition process and briefings for the Biden team began three weeks ago at the direction of President Trump, and I commend him for that. The orderly transfer of power is a hallmark of our democracy, and although I supported President Trump, the Electoral College vote today makes clear that Joe Biden is now President-Elect.”
Rep. Steve Chabot (R, 1st Congressional District):
Has not responded to requests for comment, but did say in a Dec. 10 interview that, “This president, the current president, has every right to exhaust his legal remedies, which he’s doing at this point.”
Rep. Brad Wenstrup (R, 2nd Congressional District) in a Dec. 15 statement:
“Under our Constitution, the presidential electors have voted Joe Biden to be our next president, but the unprecedented amount of liberal media bias, big tech interference, election irregularities, and process alterations have undoubtedly created distrust among tens of millions of Americans, many of whom I represent. As some legal challenges continue, I am committed to ensuring that future presidential elections, and all elections in America, are free from the uncertainties that have been so evident in 2020. Our goal must be election outcomes that can be trusted by all, and, unfortunately, we are far from that. I believe that the State of Ohio provided a model for the nation in competent elections administration during this general election. As always, I will continue to work hard on behalf of Ohioans in the Second District regardless of who is in the White House.”
Rep. Jim Jordan (R, 4th Congressional District): Has not responded to requests for comment.
Rep. Bob Latta (R, 5th Congressional District): Has not responded to requests for comment.
Rep. Bill Johnson (R, 6th Congressional District) in a Dec. 15 statement:
“While it’s undoubtedly true that the Electoral College voted to make Joe Biden our 46th president, it’s also true that the 2020 election was tainted with credible allegations of voter fraud, irregularities, and media bias at a level not seen in the modern era. It will take many years before tens of millions of voters will trust the system again.”
Rep. Bob Gibbs (R, 7th Congressional District): Has not responded to requests for comment.
Rep. Warren Davidson (R, 8th Congressional District): Has not responded to requests for comment, but did say in a Dec. 9 interview, “I don’t think that the election’s over. I don’t think anyone, whether it’s Joe Biden or Donald Trump, should concede the election until every legal vote is counted.”
Rep. Mike Turner (R, 10th Congressional District): Has not responded to requests for comment.
Rep. Troy Balderson (R, 12th Congressional District): Has not responded to requests for comment.
Rep. Dave Joyce (R, 14th Congressional District) in a Dec. 15 statement:
“Yesterday, as established by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution, the Electoral College cast their votes for the 46th President of the United States. While Ohio’s 18 electoral votes went to President Trump, when votes from all 50 states were compiled, Joe Biden was certified as President-elect with 306 votes. I know that the red versus blue tensions have run high since Election Day, but it is important to remember that the Constitution, for which I have sworn an oath to God to uphold, is far greater than any one candidate or political party. It is both our privilege and our responsibility to respect the will of our fellow Americans as we have done for more than 200 years. That is what has made our nation the greatest democracy in the world. I am proud that the election in Ohio was conducted in the same way that it has been for many years, where voters were able to cast ballots both by mail and in person without any delay or question of legitimacy. However, the alternative election processes implemented in other states due to the COVID-19 pandemic led to questions regarding the legality of certain ballots. As a former prosecutor, I am glad President Trump was afforded his legal right to address reports of irregularities and thank the courts for expeditiously applying the law to the cases presented before them. I thank President Trump for his leadership the past four years, during which our nation saw record-low unemployment, brought our trade policies into the modern age and prioritized the American worker, reduced burdensome government regulations, reformed our nation’s outdated tax code, and achieved historic success with vaccine development. As we head into the 117th Congress, I look forward to continuing to fight for policies that put America first and revive the American dream for hardworking families in Ohio and across our country.”
Rep. Steve Stivers (R, 15th Congressional District) in a Dec. 8 interview:
“After the president went through due process, it looked pretty obvious. I saw certifications in places like Wisconsin, Nevada, Georgia. It became clear that that due process had run out and that the Electoral College was going to elect Joe Biden as president-elect. I think the due process is really important. And just so everybody knows, it doesn’t matter whether a candidate concedes or other people acknowledge it. We have a system that’s set up with checks and balances. The Electoral College will meet next week and pick a president-elect, and that’s when it’ll really be official. But it’s going to happen next week. So I don’t feel like it’s important about who acknowledges these victories, it’s about the process working and it is working. I raised my hand and took an oath to the constitution of the United States, and that includes a peaceful transition of power, and I look forward to that happening.”
Rep. Anthony Gonzalez (R, 16th Congressional District) in a Nov. 18 interview:
“People have questions and some things have been brought up, and they need to be investigated; it’s within the president’s purview to do that. And so I support that. At the same time, if you just look at the status of the existing objections and where states are in their count and their recount and those sorts of things, it certainly appears that Joe Biden is going to be the president.”