Unions now back Republicans as often as Democrats in GOP-dominated Ohio
Gov. Mike DeWine (WCMH)

Labor unions are donating as much to Ohio Republicans as they are to Democrats, because there simply aren't enough of them in positions of power in the GOP-dominated state.

About 90 cents on the dollar are contributed nationally to Democrats by labor unions, but a Cincinnati Enquirer analysis found that unions donated about the same amount of money in 2019 to Republicans.

“At the end of the day, a union’s job is to represent its members,” said state Rep. Brigid Kelly (D-Hyde Park), who's also a Commercial Workers Union representative. “Democrats need to do a better job at making the case for why we do a better job of standing up for folks and earning that support.”

Building trade unions have contributed to Republicans for years, and trade unions backed then-Gov. John Kasich as he tried to restrict collective bargaining rights for public employees unions.

But Democratic candidates are finding that labor unions will endorse and donate to their GOP opponents and their campaigns because Republicans hold supermajorities in the state House and Senate, and Gov. Mike DeWine is also a Republican.

That means unions will need GOP support to get something done or to block "right to work" laws or prevailing wage restrictions.

“There’s a lot of pragmatism behind it,” said Scott DiMauro, president of the Ohio Education Association. “It’s not practical to only support one party.”