Jon A. Husted

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Not to be confused with John G. W. Husted, Jr..
Jon Husted
Jon Husted 2016-05-12.jpg
Secretary of State of Ohio
Assumed office
January 10, 2011
Governor John Kasich
Preceded by Jennifer Brunner
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 8th district
In office
January 5, 2009 – January 10, 2011
Preceded by Peggy Lehner
Succeeded by Peggy Lehner
Personal details
Born (1967-08-25) August 25, 1967 (age 49)
Royal Oak, Michigan, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Tina Sheppard
Children 3
Education University of Dayton (BA, MA)

Jon A. Husted (born August 25, 1967) is an American politician of the Republican Party who currently serves as Ohio Secretary of State. Previously, he was a member of the Ohio Senate, representing the 6th district (portions of Montgomery County). He also previously served as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives from 2001 to 2009 and Speaker of the House from 2005 to 2009. From 2009 to 2011 he served as a member of the Ohio senate. He was elected Ohio Secretary of State on November 2, 2010, defeating Democratic candidate, Franklin County, Ohio Clerk of Courts Maryellen O'Shaughnessy.

Early life[edit]

Husted was born in the Detroit area in 1967, and subsequently abandoned by his biological parents. He was later adopted and was raised in Montpelier, Ohio.[1] He was a four-sport athlete in high school, although he stated he didn't care for books.[1]

Husted was recruited for collegiate football and went on to play cornerback for the University of Dayton team. He said about arriving in Dayton "I had never been anywhere...I thought Dayton was the biggest city going."[1]

He earned All-American Defensive Back honors as a member of the 1989 Division III National Championship football team.[1]

Husted graduated from UD with a Bachelor of Science degree in education in 1989 and a Master of Arts degree in communications in 1992.

Political career[edit]

Husted almost took a job coaching football at the University of Toledo, but instead chose to work for a congressional campaign after it resulted in a paycheck.[1] He then stayed in the Dayton area and worked for Montgomery County Commissioner Don Lucas and later as Vice-President of Business and Economic Development at the Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce. He ran for state representative in 2000 and won in a five way race. In the Ohio House, Husted teamed up with fellow State Representatives Kevin DeWine and Tom Raga to win the speakership. Claims were made that Husted's rise had a "dark side," as he was aided with assistance from a special interest group who pushed Husted and promised large bonuses and contracts to consultants if he was made speaker. However Husted championed a campaign-finance bill in the Ohio congress that forced more disclosure from issue advocacy groups, like the one that allegedly provided him with assistance.[1]

After serving four terms in the legislature and becoming term limited, in 2008 Husted was elected to the Ohio Senate representing the 6th district. He also served as the co-chair in Ohio for the McCain for President campaign that year.[1] In 2009, he announced his candidacy for Ohio Secretary of State.[2]

On November 2, 2010 Sen. Husted was elected with a strong majority to the office of Ohio Secretary of State, defeating Franklin County, OH Clerk of Courts Maryellen O'Shaughnessy. He is the second former speaker of the Ohio House to be elected Secretary of State, and the first since 1905. He resigned his Senate seat late in 2010 in order to take his new office.[3] In 2013, the Washington Post named Husted to its top 10 "Rising Stars" list.[4]

Military voting[edit]

In 2011, Husted launched the Military Ready-To-Vote (MRV) program to help Ohio service members Vote. The Columbus Dispatch reported that “Husted's initiative would allow servicemen and women to register to vote and request an absentee ballot for all elections in a calendar year using the same form. They will also be able to track their absentee ballots electronically through an I.D. number and receive election reminders via e-mail or social media sites such as Facebook….’No matter where they are, they're serving in California or Afghanistan, if they're an Ohio resident I want them to have the same access to the ballot as all Ohio voters,’ Husted said” [5] Husted was recognized by the Federal Voting Assistance Program,[6] the Association of the U.S. Army and The Military Voter Protection Project for the efforts to improve military voting.

Absentee ballots[edit]

In 2012 Jon Husted was the first Secretary of State in Ohio history to send out applications for absentee ballots to all eligible voters. National elections experts noted that Ohio was the only state in the nation to send out absentee ballot applications to all registered voters outside of those states which vote exclusively by mail (currently Washington, Oregon, and Colorado).[7] Ohio saw strong absentee ballot numbers in the 2012 November elections. Husted announced that more Ohioans had voted absentee in 2012 than in any other election since no-fault absentee voting started in Ohio in 2006.[8]

STEM education[edit]

During Husted’s time as Secretary of State he has encouraged the importance of higher education especially in the areas of STEM education. STEM is an acronym referring to the academic education in fields such as science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Husted has not only been an advocate for STEM education but has received awards because of his continued commitment to promote STEM learning in the State of Ohio. With this commitment to better the next generation, Husted created the Ohio First Scholarship which since first starting has supplied more than $32 million through funds from Ohio colleges, universities and their business partners and with these funds more than 4,000 participants have been able to receive scholarships for their commitment to pursue higher education. Husted is fully committed to creating a better future through the continuing of higher education.


Voting Rights[edit]

On March 7, 2016, the ACLU of Ohio sent a letter to Husted's office indicating their opinion that 17-year-olds should be allowed to vote in the 2016 primary March 15. "The Secretary of State’s Official Election Manual makes a distinction between the ability of 17 year olds in “electing” and “nominating” candidates," an Ohio ACLU press release indicates. "The Secretary of State interprets this to block 17 year olds from voting for presidential candidates, since they will actually be electing delegates, who go on to nominate a candidate.[9] Lawyers on behalf of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders filed a lawsuit against Husted's office. "It is an outrage," said Sanders in a press release, "that the secretary of state in Ohio is going out of his way to keep young people – significantly African-American young people, Latino young people – from participating.”[10] However, Secretary Husted contends that this is the way the law has always been enforced. Montgomery county board of elections deputy director and democrat Steve Harsman, who is one of the longest serving elections officials in Ohio, has stated that 17 year olds have never been allowed to vote in the presidential primary.[11] On March 11, an Ohio judge ruled that 17-year-olds can vote. In response, Husted said that "we will appeal this decision because if there is a close election on Tuesday we need clarity from the Supreme Court to make sure that ineligible voters don’t determine the outcome of an election.”[12]

Leading up to the 2012 election, Husted cast tie-breaking votes to enable Republicans on county election boards in some Democratic-leaning counties to establish regular office hours for early voting. In some counties more likely to vote for Mitt Romney, Democrats and Republicans on the boards voted to extend hours without the input of Secretary Husted.[13][14]

A day after The New York Times published an editorial pointing out the disparity, Husted delivered a directive that, for the first time in Ohio history, made early voting uniform across all counties.[13] Democrats complained that Husted's uniform hours would disenfranchise urban voters with long lines and curtailed access, while Republicans have stated that the directive provides for ample early voting hours.[14][15][16][17][18]

Husted's directive has been covered by a wide variety of Ohio media. The Akron Beacon Journal [17] said "Jon Husted has leveled the field for early voting hours." The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote "What Husted has ordered may not completely satisfy anyone, but at least it treats everyone equally" [16] and the Columbus Dispatch said that "Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted has struck a fair compromise by standardizing early-voting hours throughout the state." [15]

On August 31, 2012, a federal court granted a preliminary injunction preventing the early voting restrictions of Ohio House Bill 224, which prevented early voting on the last 3 days of the election.[19] Husted announced on September 4 that the state would not comply with a court ruling and allow early voting during the final weekend before the election until an appellate court rules on the matter. "Announcing new hours before the court case reaches final resolution will only serve to confuse voters and conflict with the standard of uniformity," Husted wrote in a memo.[20] However, after he was summoned to appear before a federal judge who had struck down the policy change and questioned his failure to comply with the court order, Husted relented, thus allowing counties to plan for early voting.[21] The case has been appealed to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.[22]

About 93,000 Ohioans voted in the final three days of early voting during the 2008 election. A study by Northeast Ohio Voter Advocates found African-Americans accounted for 56 percent of all in-person early votes in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, while they accounted for 26 percent of the county's votes overall. In Franklin County, which includes Columbus, African-Americans cast 31 percent of early votes and 21 percent of votes overall.[20]

Steel Development LLC[edit]

On February 22, 2008, after delaying legislation, Husted was blamed for costing the state a $1 billion investment worth 500 jobs in southern Ohio from a steel consortium group called Steel Development LLC, which included European investors.[23][24]


In 2005, Husted was criticized for a fishing trip during Memorial Day Weekend, which included three Columbus lobbyists in the middle of an important budget debate, in which the lobbyists had a stake in the budget outcome.[25] Husted had initially denied the lobbyists were involved in politics.[26] Following criticism of his ethics, Husted increased his personal reimbursements for the trips.[27]

First Energy[edit]

In 2008, Husted was accused of being "in sync" with FirstEnergy in their energy regulation dispute with Gov. Ted Strickland and the state's largest manufacturers. Husted supported FirstEnergy's position over the regulation sought by the Governor and manufacturers to control FirstEnergy's highest rates in the state.[28] Since 2001, Husted has accepted $39,500 from FirstEnergy's political action committee, and since 2008, has accepted $71,000 from FirstEnergy employees.[29]


In October 2008, Husted became the subject of an electoral investigation concerning his residency. The Secretary of State's office ultimately cast a vote which broke the tie of an elections panel voting on the matter in 2009, deciding that he was not a resident of the district he represented, based on utility bills which highlighted his official residence hadn't been used for quite some time.[30] In October 2009, the Ohio Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Secretary of State.[30]

National Cash Register[edit]

At the end of 2004, Husted requested the use of National Cash Register's private jet to attend the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio. He was later criticized for this action.[31] National Cash Register eventually ended their operations in Ohio and left the state.


In 2005 Husted married his second (and current) wife Tina L. Sheppard, a Columbus real estate agent. The couple have a toddler daughter, Katie, and an infant daughter Kylie along with his son, Alex (born 1994), from his first marriage.[32]

Electoral history[edit]

Election results
Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
2010 Ohio Secretary of State Primary Jon Husted Republican 506,253 67.26 Sandra O'Brien Republican 246,444 32.74
Election results
Year Office Election Subject Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes % Opponent Party Votes %
2000 Ohio House of Representatives General Jon Husted Republican 24,593 50% Dick Church, Jr. Democratic 18,698 38% *
2002 Ohio House of Representatives General Jon Husted Republican 22,468 64% Gabrielle Williamson Democratic 12,403 36%
2004 Ohio House of Representatives General Jon Husted Republican 36,490 65% John Shady Democratic 19,640 35%
2006 Ohio House of Representatives General Jon Husted Republican 28,339 100%
2008 Ohio Senate General Jon Husted Republican 103,975 61% John Doll Democratic 65,216 39%
2010 Ohio Secretary of State General Jon Husted Republican 1,973,422 54.04% Maryellen O'Shaughnessy Democratic 1,500,648 41.09% Charlie Earl Libertarian 179,495 4.87%
2014 Ohio Secretary of State General Jon Husted Republican 1,811,020 59.83% Nina Turner Democratic 1,074,475 35.50% Kevin Knedler Libertarian 141,292 4.67%

*2000 election notes: Richard Hartmann received 3,934 votes, Bryan Carey (L) received 904 votes and Charles Turner (N) received 705 votes.


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "Jon Husted won't say if he's a secretary of state candidate", Cleveland Plain Dealer. September 8, 2008. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
  2. ^ "Former House Speaker Husted to run for secretary of state", Cleveland Plain Dealer. April 2, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  3. ^ "Gongwer News Service - Ohio". Retrieved 2015-04-01. 
  4. ^ "The Fix". The Washington Post. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  5. ^ "DispatchPolitics". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "Army Association Honors OH Secretary of State Jon Husted". MVP Project. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Secretary of State Husted: Ohio Voters to Receive Statewide Absentee Ballot Applications Just After Labor Day". Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  8. ^ "Secretary Husted: Nearly 1.8 Million Absentee Ballots Cast, Surpasses 2008 Presidential Election Figure". Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  9. ^ "ACLU of Ohio". 
  10. ^ "Bernie Sanders joining fight over 17-year-olds' right to vote in Ohio". The Columbus Dispatch. 
  11. ^ "Dayton Daily News". 
  12. ^ "Judge rules 17-year-olds can vote in Ohio presidential primary". Fox 8 Cleveland. 
  13. ^ a b "Overt Discrimination in Ohio". New York Times. 14 August 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2012. 
  14. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  15. ^ a b "Vote for fairness". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  16. ^ a b "Husted's decree on ballot board hours is acceptable: editorial". Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  17. ^ a b System Administrator. "Battleground Ohio". Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  18. ^ Calabresi, Massimo, "Jon Husted: The Powerful Official Behind Ohio’s Vote", Time Swampland blog, November 06, 2012. Retrieved 2012-11-06.
  19. ^ "Judge Sides With Obama On Ohio Early Voting Suit Despite Romney Attacks". TPM. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  20. ^ a b Johnson, Luke (September 4, 2012). "Official Refuses To Comply With Court Ruling On Early Voting". Huffington Post. 
  21. ^ "Ohio Secretary Of State Backs Down On Early Voting". TPM. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  22. ^ "Ohio Will Appeal Expansion of Early Voting". TPM. Retrieved 25 October 2014. 
  23. ^ "Electric Costs Doom Ohio Steel Mill", Manufacturing Management News. February 22, 2008. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  24. ^ "Ohio Governor Blames Steel Plant Exodus on Delay of Energy Bill by House Speaker", ePluribus Media. February 22, 2008. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  25. ^ "Ohio House leader defends fishing trip with lobbyists", Toledo Blade. June 25, 2005, Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  26. ^ "Ohio’s 2006 Verdict On America", Candide's Notebooks. August 24, 2006. Retrieved December 23, 2009.
  27. ^ "Four face ethics probe", Columbus Dispatch. July 8, 2005. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  28. ^ "Husted in sync with FirstEnergy on power rates", Cleveland Plain Dealer. January 10, 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  29. ^ "Candidate Donation Search", Ohio Secretary of State. Retrieved December 24, 2009.
  30. ^ a b "Supreme Court reverses decision on Husted residency", Columbus Business First. October 6, 2009. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  31. ^ "Jon Husted won't say if he's a secretary of state candidate", Cleveland Plain Dealer. September 8, 2008. Retrieved November 29, 2009.
  32. ^ Marshall, Aaron (September 8, 2008). "Jon Husted won't say if he's a secretary of state candidate". Cleveland Plain Dealer. 

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jennifer Brunner
Secretary of State of Ohio