Voters are going to have plenty of candidates to choose from this year in Southwest Ohio’s state House races with Democrats fielding candidates in every race and incumbents facing primary challengers across the region.
Republicans hold large majorities in both the Ohio House and the Senate but Democrats hope to ride a mid-term wave of voter dissatisfaction and regain some seats. The Ohio House Democratic Caucus on Wednesday announced it had candidates for all 99 House seats in the state.
“We are experiencing an unprecedented level of enthusiasm among Democrats here in Ohio,” OHDC Executive Director Aaron Fisher said. “This enthusiasm has produced a real appetite to hold Republican legislators accountable and to elect leaders that will be change agents in every corner of the state.”
Ohio Republican Party spokesman Blaine Kelly asked what platform do those 99 Democrats plan to run on.
“If it’s the same platform that statewide and federal Democrat candidates are using, which is to obstruct the booming economy, increasing wages and job opportunities that Republican policies have brought about, then they will meet the same fate in November — defeat,” Kelly said.
The candidates who filed won’t know if they actually make the May 8 primary ballot until the local boards of election certify by Feb. 19 that they have at least 50 valid signatures of registered voters on their nominating petitions.
Here is a look at who filed to run in the Springfield region:
Incumbent State Rep. Kyle Koehler, R-Springfield, will face Democrat Amanda Finfrock of New Carlisle in November as neither has a primary opponent.
The 79th District includes Springfield, New Carlisle and all of western Clark County, as well as the southeastern part of the county.
Incumbent State Rep. Nino Vitale, R-Urbana, joins a crowded field of Republicans who filed, including Justin G. Griffis and Joseph Ratermann, both of Sidney, and Rochiel V. Foulk of Urbana. Democrat Garrett Baldwin of Mechanicsburg also filed for the 85th.
The 85th district includes all of Champaign County and most of Logan County as well as southeastern Shelby County.
Incumbent State Rep. Bill Dean, R-Xenia, is unopposed in the primary and in November will face the winner of a Democratic primary pitting Anne Gorman of Plain City against Steve W. Key of Wilberforce.
The 74th district includes Northeastern Clark County, as well as Xenia, Cedarville, eastern Greene County and all of Madison County.
Other stories by Lynn Hulsey