The contest for the 74th House District is one of the more interesting races of the 2016 primary season. Four political newcomers will square off in the Republican primary on March 16th. The district includes Madison County and portions of Clark and Greene counties and carries nearly a +11 Republican index. State Rep. Bob Hackett is vacating the seat that he has held since 2008 due to term limits.
Rep. Hackett is seeking to fill the senate seat of his colleague, Sen. Chris Widener, also term-limited in 2016. Leading up to the filing deadline, it was widely speculated that Sen. Widener would chose to take residence in the 74th House District and continue to serve in Columbus. To the surprise of many, Sen. Widener did not move into the district and rather has endorsed attorney Chris Wallace, a first-time candidate from Plain City in the race. Mr. Wallace faces healthcare lobbyist Joe Russell of London, financial planner Brendan Shea of London, and Bill Dean of Xenia.
In addition to Sen. Widener’s endorsement, Mr. Wallace was endorsed by the Madison County Republican Party last night. Endorsements will be a key component of this race as all of the candidates have low name identification being political newcomers. Three of the four candidates in the race are from Madison County. That is noteworthy because in the 2012 primary election 19% of the vote came from Clark County, 46% from Green County, and 35% from Madison. The results in Green County will likely decide the winner on election night in March. The Green County Republican Party will meet for candidate endorsements in the coming weeks.
The primary winner will go on to ultimately face Democrat Barbara Niemeyer of London in the November general election.
To help you keep track of the candidates for the General Assembly, Congress, and Court of Appeals, I have compiled a comprehensive list, with candidate names, political parties and mailing addresses. The list will be updated periodically.
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