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State Sen. Frank LaRose Joins Race For Ohio Secretary Of State

Ohio Sec. of State Frank LaRose is implementing a new voter registration form for Ohioans who are about to be removed from the rolls.
Ohio Senate
Frank LaRose

State Sen. Frank LaRose is following close on the heels of fellow lawmaker Kathleen Clyde and entering the race for Secretary of State.

The two-term Republican lawmaker, of Hudson, announced on Wednesday that he will campaign to replace Ohio's current elections chief, Jon Husted, who is term-limited and running for governor.

Along with Clyde, who announced her run on Tuesday, fourth-term GOP Rep. Dorothy Pelanda of Marysville also announced a bid to replace Husted next year.

LaRose served in the U.S. Army Special Forces, and he says he was inspired by people he saw taking great risk to vote in places such as Iraq and Kosovo.

The 38-year-old lawmaker has backed changes to how legislative districts are drawn in an effort to make them less partisan and proposed a similar revamp for Ohio's congressional districts. LaRose sponsored legislation last year that allowed online voter registration, which opened in January.

But LaRose opposes a bill, introduced by Clyde, that would automatically register to vote people who interacted with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services and the BMV. 

“There’s no linear relationship between levels of voter registration and levels of voter participation," LaRose said. "Now what does impact voter participation is when people get excited about an election, that’s why we see higher turnout in presidential years."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Gabe Rosenberg joined WOSU in October 2016. As digital news editor, Gabe reports breaking news and edits all content for the WOSU website, as well as manages the station's social media accounts.