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Special Election Primaries Set for Two Ohio Congressional Seats on Aug. 3

July 30, 2021 by Dan McCue
Tiffany Rumbalski sits beside the voting materials, including absentee ballot requests, that she's providing outside her home in Hilliard, Ohio on Tuesday, Sept. 1, 2020. The inflatable tyrannosaurus rex, Vinny Voter, helps draw attention to the display and encourage passers by to take the free materials and get a selfie. (Adam Cairns/The Columbus Dispatch/TNS)

It may not be special elections galore, but voters in two congressional districts in Ohio are about to decide who will compete in November for two high profile Capitol Hill vacancies.

On Aug. 3, 10 Republicans and two Democrats will be squaring off in their respective party primaries for the right to represent Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.

The same day, 13 Democrats and 2 Republicans will wage their own electoral battles to represent the 11th Congressional district.

The special election in the 11th Congressional District was called after Democrat Marcia Fudge was confirmed as secretary of housing and urban development in President Joe Biden’s administration. 

The special election in the 15th Congressional District will fill the vacancy left by Republican Steve Stivers who resigned to become the president and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce in May.

In the 15th CD, the perceived frontrunners are Mike Carey, past president and chairman of the Ohio Coal Association and U.S. Army National Guard veteran; Ruth Edmonds, an ordained minister and former president of the Ohio NAACP; state Rep. Jeff LaRe; and state Sen. Bob Peterson.

Carey has been endorsed by former President Donald Trump.

The seven other candidates running in the GOP primary are: John Adams, Eric M. Clark, Thad Cooperridder, Ron Hood, Tom Hwang, Stephanie Kunze, and Omar Tarazi.

The Democrats are Greg Betts, a retired Army colonel, and State Rep. Allison Russo.

In the 11th CD, the race to watch is considered to be the Democratic contest between Nina Turner, a former state senator for Ohio’s 25th District, and Shontel Brown, the chair of the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party.

Turner has been endorsed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Also running in the Democratic primary are Martin Alexander, John E. Barnes Jr., James Jerome Bell, Seth Corey, Jeffrey Johnson, Will Knight, Pamela Pinkney, Isaac Powell, Lateek Shabazz, Tariq Shabazz, and Shirley Smith.

The candidates running in the GOP primary in the district are Laverne Gore, the former director of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, and Felicia Ross, who describes herself on her Twitter account as a “hard working American woman, Jane of all trades.”

Last week, the Ohio Secretary of State’s office ran a test to ensure the vote and the all important vote count go smoothly.

Polls close at 7:30 p.m. local time on Aug. 3, and the Secretary of State’s Office will provide unofficial results starting at 8:00 p.m. local time.

“Results are unofficial until the most populous county in the district certifies the official results of the election,” said Rob Nichols, press secretary for Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose.

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