Ohio lawmakers finally were able to come together recently to save the state $15 million next year by consolidating the state’s two primaries to March 6.
Elections officials along with local governments and countless others had urged state lawmakers to come up with a solution for just one primary, which eventually came in the form of House Bill 369.
The law essentially repealed the presidential primary for June 12 that also would have seen partisan candidates for U.S. House of Representatives on the ballot. Now all the primaries will be March 6.
An interesting wrinkle to the development is candidacy petitions for congressional races have been ruled invalid, so these candidates essentially have a new filing deadline and must refile petitions. That means congressional candidates must obtain new signatures as well.
Candidates who had filed for Ohio’s 14th Congressional District were Dale Virgil Blanchard (Democrat), U.S. Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (Republican), David Macko (Libertarian) and Elaine R. Mastromatteo (Green).
These candidates must now submit new petitions and it could also open the door for other candidates to run.
The deal among Ohio lawmakers also included slightly different boundaries to shrink Ohio from 18 to 16 congressional districts as the state’s population didn’t grow as fast as others in the previous decade, according to the 2010 U.S. Census.
With an earlier presidential primary, Ohio now has a greater opportunity to play a larger role to determine who the Republican Party nominates for president.
Before Ohio, just 13 states will have primary races or Republican caucuses to help determine who the delegates from their state will support during the Republican National Convention.
These states are Iowa (Jan. 3), New Hampshire (Jan. 10); Nevada, South Carolina (Jan. 21); Florida (Jan. 31); Maine, Nevada (Feb. 4); Colorado, Minnesota, Missouri (Feb. 7); Arizona, Michigan (Feb. 28); Washington (March 3).
Joining Ohio on March 6 are these 12 states: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Massachusetts, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.
So you can see there was a good deal of incentive for Republicans to have an earlier primary as the level of influence rises in Ohio.
That also might mean that Republican candidates, such as current front runners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, may spend more time and money in the state.
But who knows what the field will look like two months from now?
Ohio has traditionally played a key role to determine who becomes president, and that past has already come to play.
Keep in mind, President Barack Obama has made many visits to Ohio during his first term.
You may also recall Vice President Joe Biden recently made a campaign stop in Euclid to thank voters for their support to defeat state Issue 2, which sought to change the state’s collective bargaining laws.
The event also was designed to fire up supporters and energize the Democratic party as the president gears up for re-election.
Lake County Tea Party will host a candidates forum from 2 to 4 p.m. Jan. 14 at Mentor Beach Park for the candidates running for the two Lake County commissioner positions. See Chuck Laughlin.
n Fundraiser for Jason Wuliger, candidate for Lake County recorder, 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 9 at Gavi’s in Willoughby. Special guest is Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel. See Susan Culotta.
n Campaign kickoff for Linda Burhenne, candidate for Lake County commissioner, 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 12 at Spats Cafe in Concord Township. See Jack Burhenne.
n Fundraiser for Ted Andrzejewski, candidate for Lake County commissioner, 6 to 8 p.m. Jan. 19 at Croatian Lodge in Eastlake. See. Ted or Patricia Andrzejewski.
John Arthur Hutchison