Ohio Gov. John Kasich scored his first win of the presidential nomination contest in his home state Tuesday as he and other Republican candidates sought an edge over front-runner Donald Trump, while Hillary Clinton claimed victory over Bernie Sanders in the key swing state's Democratic primary.
Polls in four southwest Ohio counties were kept open an extra hour under a federal judge's order because of a traffic problem on Interstate 275 in the Cincinnati area, but the secretary of state's office said the change wouldn't delay results. The office didn't offer specifics about the traffic issue, but it was on the same interstate where transportation officials reported a car had plunged into the Ohio River from a bridge carrying traffic from Kentucky into Cincinnati.
Secretary of State Jon Husted told reporters at a Statehouse news briefing that Ohio had "a problem-free day at the polls" until his office received a call from a federal judge's courtroom two minutes after polls were to close.
In Columbus, Lori Huffman, 45, a Republican, voted for Donald Trump.
"Like most people, sick of politicians," said Huffman, a supervisor at UPS. "He tells it like it is. I for one am that type of person and I appreciate that."
Vietnam veteran and Democrat William McMillen, 70, said he also voted for Trump.
"He's a businessman," the part-time warehouse worker said. "America is a big business, and he could make money for us."
But Columbus voter George Buttrick cast his ballot for Kasich, calling him a better choice and someone people can relate to.
"I think the biggest thing right now is to have someone who's not going to start a fight," said Buttrick, 76, who runs a collision repair shop.
Cuyahoga County elections director Pat McDonald said voting started a little slow in the northeast Ohio county that includes Cleveland, where gloomy skies and intermittent rain may have deterred some voters. But he expected turnout to pick up.
A voter in that county, Charlotte Cousett, said she voted for Clinton and believes a woman should have a chance to be president.
"We work just as hard as men do," said the 67-year-old Democrat.
Sanders got support from Jennifer Becerra, 43, a fifth-grade teacher in Columbus. She said she voted for Sanders because his views on America are what the country needs right now.
"He's in tune with the middle class, and he's wanting to push us forward, not bring us even further back," Becerra said.
The state's U.S. Senate Democratic primary has national implications, too.
Democratic ex-governor Ted Strickland, 74, handily held off a spirited challenge from Cincinnati Councilman P.G. Sittenfeld, 31. Democrats have targeted Republican incumbent Rob Portman in their effort to regain a Senate majority, and the state's party leadership says Strickland has a better shot.
Ohio voters are also choosing nominees in other congressional districts to oppose incumbents and have to cast their ballots for Ohio Supreme Court and some legislative races.
Associated Press writers Ann Sanner, Kantele Franko and Andrew Welsh-Huggins in Columbus, Mark Gillispie in Cleveland and Lisa Cornwell in Cincinnati contributed to this report.
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