Primary: May 5
Nov. 4, 1998 Secretary of State Robert Taft (R) defeated former attorney general Lee Fisher (D) to succeed term-limited Gov. George Voinovich. Taft won 50 percent to Fisher's 45 percent, with 99 percent of precincts reporting.
Taft was regarded by many as the gubernatorial heir apparent, with strong party support, name recognition, organization and an obviously formidable fund-raising ability.With his political pedigree, Taft brought an air of inevitability to his candidacy.
Issues: Health care was a huge issue throughout the campaign. Fisher and Taft argued over patients' rights, health insurance for children and allowing patients to choose their own doctors. They also battled over taxes and education; Fisher pledged to set aside $300 million in the state budget for education, and promised to cut taxes. Taft promoted setting higher standards for high school graduation and improving students' reading skills and school safety.
Polls: A poll conducted Oct. 30-31 by Louis Harris and Associates for the Toledo Blade showed Taft with 44 percent and Fisher with 39 percent. A Columbus Dispatch poll conducted Oct. 23-29 showed Taft with 50 percent and Fisher with 45 percent.
Lisa Todorovich, washingtonpost.com
Lisa Todorovich can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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