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Candidates Gear Up Campaigns For Ohio's Two Open Congressional Seats

J. Scott Applewhite
Associated Press

As the year comes to a close, candidates are already lining up for next year’s Congressional races – with the seats of both U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci up for grabs.

Rep. Pat Tiberi: 12th District

Republican Congressman Pat Tiberihas said he plans to leave office by the end of January, leaving open a seat that covers from Upper Arlington to Delaware County, north to Mansfield and east to Licking County and Zanesville.

When he resigns, the governor’s office will set a date for a special election to fill out his term. The winner would face reelection in the fall for the new term beginning in 2019.

Several Democrats say they’ll enter the race, including former Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott, business Ed Albertson, who ran last year, and activist John Russell, who operates a farm in Delaware County. John Peters, an educator from Newark, and Doug Wilson of Mansfield are also seeking the seat.

Two state senators are running on the Republican side: Kevin Bacon and Troy Balderson. Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O’Brien is in the race too, along with Jon Halverstadt and Brandon Grisez, who both served in the military.

Attorney Jonathan Veley is running as an independent.

President Trump won the district by approximately 11 points in 2016.

Rep. Jim Renacci: 16th District

Republican Congressman Jim Renacciis running for governor, leaving an open seat in the district that stretches from the west side suburbs of Cleveland south to Wayne County and east to Portage County.

On the Republican side, former NFL playerAnthony Gonzalez has raised the most money, followed by state Rep. Christina Hagan of Alliance. Kit Seryak, an Army veteran from Rocky River, and Darrell Hartman of Akron have also filed to run.

Two Democrats have filed with the Federal Election Commission: Aaron Paul Godfrey of North Olmsted and Mark Dent from Berea. Jennifer Herold, who ran for the state house as a Republican last year, is also in the mix, this time on the Democratic side.

In 2016, President Trump won the district by approximately 17 points.