The endorsement of five candidates for the May 6 primary by the Ohio Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee (OCCPaC) was announced earlier today. The five candidates are Reps. Dave Hall (R-Millersburg), Dorothy Pelanda (R-Marysville), Cliff Rosenberger (R-Clarksville), Barbara Sears (R-Maumee), and Peter Stautberg (R-Cincinnati).
Here is a quick rundown of each race:
Rep. Dave Hall: Rep. Hall faces a bit of a challenge because of his district’s geography. He is from Holmes County, but nearly half of the votes in the district in the 2012 General Election came from Ashland County – a county he didn’t represent prior to the last round of redistricting. His opponent, Tom Lavinder, is from Ashland and is also a former school board member. Rep. Hall’s 100% pro-business score for the session and 100% lifetime pro-business score made this an easy endorsement.
Rep. Dorothy Pelanda: Like Rep. Hall, Rep. Pelanda has an outstanding record on business issues in the legislature. She has a 100% pro-business score for both the session and lifetime. Her challenger is Marysville City Councilman Dan Fogt, who is running against her largely on the basis of her vote for House Bill 5 – Municipal Income Tax Reform and Uniformity – which was an Ohio Chamber key vote and will make Ohio more competitive for new investment and jobs.
Rep. Cliff Rosenberger: This race is a cookie cutter Tea Party challenge. You can read more about Barb Cole here, but she is a member of the Highland County T.E.A. Party. Despite what Cole may say, Rep. Rosenberger has shown a strong commitment to improving Ohio’s business climate during his time in the legislature, which is backed by his 100% lifetime pro-business score.
Rep. Barbara Sears: Ever since Rep. Sears became one of the first Republicans to publicly back Medicaid expansion, there has been a lot of buzz about a Tea Party challenge in the primary. That challenge has come in the form of Scott Allegrini, who is the founder of Children of Liberty and an assistant manager at Walmart. Rep. Sears has been a leader in trying to protect Ohio employers from increased health care costs, and has been supported by the Ohio Chamber throughout her career in the legislature.
Rep. Peter Stautberg: In a rematch from 2012, former Rep. Tom Brinkman is challenging Rep. Stautberg in House District 27, which covers the eastern suburbs of Cincinnati. OCCPaC endorsed Rep. Stautberg in this race in 2012, and has done so again this time. Rep. Stautberg has a lifetime pro-business score of 100%, while Brinkman only scored 70% while a member of the House.
The endorsements made today were OCCPaC’s first this election year. However, you can expect additional primary endorsements in the coming weeks.