By Patricia Beech –
2018 is shaping up to be an especially active year in Ohio politics, with a large number of candidates from both sides of the aisle contending for local and state offices.
Early voting for Ohio’s May 8 primary election began Tuesday, April 10 at the Board of Elections in West Union and continues through Monday, May 7.
Voters participating in Ohio’s primary election must opt to support candidates from one of three political parties – the Republican, Democratic, or Green Party.
While the majority of candidates on the 2018 primary ballot are pursuing state and federal seats, two Republicans are running unopposed for local government seats – Ty R. Pell for County Commissioner and David Gifford for County Auditor.
In the race for Representative of the 90th District, Adams County Commissioner Brian Baldridge is going up against a bulwark of Republicans from Scioto County including: Gina Collinsworth, Justin David Pizzulli, and Scottie Paul Powell.
Baldridge, who is attempting to win the seat now held by Representative Terry Johnson, also a Scioto County Republican, has been the subject of negative campaign ads paid for by the Conservative Alliance PAC.
In a phone interview with the Defender, Baldridge would not comment on the attack ads, but said he will continue to run a positive campaign focused on the issues that matter to the people of the 90th District.
“I believe that my campaign has brought experience and proven leadership to this race,” he said. “I want to make sure that southern Ohio’s voice is heard in Columbus.”
If Baldridge is successful in his attempt to win the 90th District seat, he will be the first Adams Countian since 2012 to be elected to serve in the Ohio legislature.
In judicial races, a fourth local candidate, Adams County Prosecutor Kris D. Blanton, is in the running for Judge of the Court of Appeals 4th District (full term commencing 2/9/19). He will face off against Jason P. Smith.
Also on the Republican ballot, four candidates vie to lead the state as Governor and Lieutenant Governor – Attorney General Mike DeWine with Jon Husted and Lt. Governor Mary Taylor with Nathan Estruth.
Republicans running unopposed for state seats include David Yost for Attorney General; Keith Faber for Auditor of State; and Frank LaRose for Secretary of State.
For Treasurer of State, Republican voters will choose between Sandra O’Brien and Robert Sprague.
Melissa Ackison, Don Elijah Eckhart, Mike Gibbons, Dan Kiley, Jim Renacci are candidates in the race for U.S. Senator from Ohio, while Brad Wenstrup is running for his fourth term as Representative to Congress for Ohio’s 2nd District.
Republican candidates for Ohio Supreme Court Justice are Craig Baldwin and Mary DeGenaro.
Candidates for Judge of the Court of Appeals 4th District (full term commencing 2/10/19) are Mike Hess and Kathleen Madden.
Greg Lang and Greg Simpson are the candidates seeking a member’s seat on the State Central Committee, Man, 14th district, while Kay Reynolds and Thea Shoemake are on the ballot for of State Central Committee, Woman, for the 14th District,
On the Democratic ticket five candidates and their running mates are hoping to win voters’ support in their run for the Governor’s office: Richard Cordray with Betty Sutton; Larry E. Ealy with Jeffrey Lynn; Dennis John Kucinich and Tara L. Samples; Bill O’Neill and Chantelle C. Lewis; Paul E. Ray and Jerry M. Schroeder; and Joe Schiavoni and Stephanie Dodd.
Democrats running unopposed for state offices include: Steve Dettelbach for Attorney General; Zack Space for Auditor of State; Kathleen Clyde for Secretary of State; Rob Richardson for Treasurer of State.
Sherrod Brown is seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate, while three candidates – Janet Everhard, Jill Schiller, and William R. Smith – are pursuing the 2nd District congressional seat now held by Wenstrup.
For Justice of the Supreme Court (full term commencing 1/1/19) Michael P. Donnelly and Melody J. Stewart (full term commencing ½/19)
For the Judge of the Court of Appeals, 4th District: Marie Hoover (full term commencing 2/9/19) and Valarie K. Gerlach (full term commencing 2/10/19).
For member of State Central Committee, Man, 14 District – Timothy S. Hogan Jr.; William K. Ogg; and Zachary Triplett.
For member of State Central committee, Woman, 14th District, Jelanie J. Ogg runs unopposed.
For State Representative 90th District – Adrienne D. Buckler and Joni L. Fearing
Green Party candidates for Governor and lieutenant Governor are Constance Gadell-Newton and Brett R. Joseph.
Green Party voters also have the option to write in candidates for Treasurer of State, for U.S. Senator, and for Representative to Congress, 2nd District.
Absentee, or early voting hours are 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., Monday–Friday from April 10 – April 27; 8 a.m.- 7 p.m. from April 30 to May 4; 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. on May 5 ; 1 p.m.- 5 p.m. on May 6; and 8 a.m.- 2 p.m. on May 7.