Ohio Governor Praised For Delaying Primary Over Fears Of Coronavirus

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Henry Rodgers Senior Congressional Correspondent
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Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is now earning praise due to his early actions to delay the Ohio primary election, despite opposition from a state judge.

DeWine announced Monday that he will be closing the polls for the primary elections in the state, as the coronavirus continues to spread throughout the U.S.

“During this time when we face an unprecedented public health crisis, to conduct an election tomorrow would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at an unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus,” Dewine said in a statement.

Just hours before, an Ohio court officially denied a request to delay the state’s primary election after calls from DeWine, who suggested Monday that the Tuesday primary should be postponed due to fears of the virus spreading. Ohio is the fourth state to suspend it’s primary election since the coronavirus has ramped up.

The move was risky, however, DeWine is now being praised by many for his decision to postpone the election, as more and more cases appear in the U.S.

“It’s going to show the governor saved lives. And I think we’re going to be first to recover because we were the first to act,” Ramy Eidi, who opens a Toledo-based company which owns 45 strips mall in the Midwest, told the Associated Press.

Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder told AP, “I’m certain he has much more information regarding the severity of the situation than the rest of us,” Householder said.

DeWine said Sunday that “Delay means more people will die,” adding, “Literally every day we delay, the data clearly shows that more people will die.”

Republican Gubernatorial-elect Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine gives his victory speech after winning the Ohio gubernatorial race at the Ohio Republican Party’s election night party at the Sheraton Capitol Square on November 6, 2018 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Justin Merriman/Getty Images)

“It is clear that tomorrow’s in-person voting does not conform and cannot conform with these CDC guidelines. We cannot conduct this election tomorrow,” DeWine said at a press conference. (RELATED: Ohio Governor Calls For Primary To Be Delayed One Day Before Election)

“The power to suspend an election, the power to delay an election, is not one we have. It rests with the legislature and the courts,” Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose added at the press conference,” Politico reported. “I hope and anticipate the judge will agree with us.”

DeWine says the elections should be postponed until June, as a safety measure to protect voters from the spread of the deadly disease. (RELATED: Here’s What The $8.3 Billion Bill For Coronavirus Actually Does)

There are three other states holding primaries Tuesday, including Arizona, Florida and Illinois.