Part 2: Who’s Running? – Senate

In case you missed it, this week I am writing a series on candidates running for the General Assembly open seats in 2014. In part 1, I gave some background on what to expect next year and the importance of open seats. Today’s post covers the four open seats in the Senate, which is dominated by current and former legislators.
Senate District 9 (Central Hamilton County)
Cecil Thomas (D) – Thomas resigned his seat on Cincinnati City Council earlier this year with the intention of running for the Ohio Senate in this heavily Democratic seat. He had served on the council since 2007, and is a 27-year veteran of the Cincinnati Police Department.
Rep. Dale Mallory (D) – The Mallory name is engraved in Cincinnati politics, and that may help Rep. Dale Mallory in what will likely be a very competitive primary. His brother, Mark Mallory, held this Senate seat before being elected mayor of Cincinnati and his father was longtime state representative William Mallory, the first black majority leader of the Ohio House. Rep. Mallory is term-limited from the House in 2014. Lifetime Ohio Chamber Voting Record: 68%
Paul Sohi (D) – Little is known about Sohi, but the political newcomer created a campaign finance committee in September.
*Charlie Winburn (R) – Although not a candidate at this point, rumors have circulated that the Republican city councilman may be interested.
Senate District 21 (Central Cuyahoga County)
Rep. Sandra Williams (D) – First elected to the House in 2006, Rep. Williams is term-limited in 2014. Fortunately for her, Sen. Shirley Smith is also term-limited, opening the door for a Senate run. At this point, she is the only candidate in the race. Although not exactly an incumbent, her status as a current member of the General Assembly may scare off any potential challengers. Lifetime Ohio Chamber Voting Record: 50%
Senate District 25 (Eastern Cuyahoga County and a portion of Lake County)
Kenny Yuko (D) – SD 25 was not originally an open seat, but with Sen. Nina Turner’s decision to run for Secretary of State, it is now. The first candidate to step forward was former state representative Kenny Yuko. He was elected to the House in 2004 and left the legislature in 2012 due to term limits. He is a former union organizer. Lifetime Ohio Chamber Voting Record: 55%
Ed Jerse (D) – When Kenny Yuko ran for the Ohio House in 2004, he was aiming to replace term-limited representative Ed Jerse. Since serving in the legislature, Jerse worked in the Strickland Administration and is now Cuyahoga County’s director of regional collaboration, which he was appointed to by gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald. Lifetime Ohio Chamber Voting Record: 66%
Senate District 31 (Licking, Coshocton, Perry, and Tuscarawas Counties, as well as a portion of Holmes County)
Rep. Jay Hottinger (R) – A longtime member of the General Assembly, Rep. Hottinger is looking to return to the Senate. His name recognition and ability to fundraise will make him very difficult to beat, which is likely why he doesn’t have an opponent yet and a serious challenger is unlikely to emerge. Lifetime Ohio Chamber Voting Record: 96%

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