Sabato's Crystal Ball

Ohio (13) House 2010


Crystal Ball Outlook: Likely D

Democratic candidate: Betty Sutton, Incumbent

Republican candidate: Tom Ganley, Businessman

Recent updates from the Crystal Ball

Update: October 14, 2010

Among our changes this week, there is a lone bright spot for Democrats. Incumbent Betty Sutton looks to have dodged the danger, as her GOP challenger has pulled his ads and seems to have thrown in the towel following allegations of sexual harassment. We move this race from Leans Democratic to Likely Democratic.


Betty Sutton became the Congressional Representative for the 13th District of Ohio after her Democratic predecessor vacated his seat to launch a successful campaign for US Senate in 2006. The 13th district has been represented by a Democrat since 1977 and voted for Gore and Kerry in 2000 and 2004.

Sutton began her political career while she was still in school. She was elected to the City Council of Barberton, Ohio while she was still in law school. Sutton then began an 8 year stint in the Ohio House of Representatives before running for Congress. Sutton crushed her Republican opposition, winning 61% of the vote to her opponent’s 39%. Sutton was reelected in 2008 by an even greater margin.

Sutton so far faces a greater challenge from within her own party than from her Republican opposition. As of the last quarter of 2009, none of the Republican candidates had completed any successful fundraising activities. There are several candidates in the mix, but no true frontrunner yet. Sutton’s potential opposition includes Jason Meade, Frank Chestney, James Brihan, Tom Ganley, Bill Haney, Jim Hrubik, and Todd Sharkey.

The inability of the Republican Party to put forth a serious challenger ahead of the May 4 Primary and Sutton’s wide margin of victory in her two previous elections make Ohio’s 13th district Leans Democratic.