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Government and Politics


Incumbents, and relatives of incumbents, do well in legislative races
Tea Party challengers turned back. So too, a pair of challenges the State Democratic Party backed against their own incumbents.
by WKSU's TIM RUDELL


Reporter
Tim Rudell
 
Frank LaRose watches early returns at his Copley campaign headquarters
Courtesy of WKSU
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In The Region:

Half a dozen incumbent northeast Ohio lawmakers -- five with seats in Columbus, and one in Congress -- faced challenges from within their own party Tuesday. WKSU’s Tim Rudell reports on what happened with each of them…and on how things worked out in three races in which a child or spouse of term-limited state legislators ran for the family office.

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Two well-publicized challenges
came from tea-party-backed candidates trying to oust Republicans, 27th District State Senator Frank LaRose, and 14th District Congressman David Joyce for not being conservative enough. What some billed as a struggle for the heart of the GOP went to the incumbents. LaRose, whose district includes all of Wayne, and parts of Summit and Stark Counties, said of the victory: “We can always find differences. And perhaps the primary season is the time for flushing those out.  But, we’re a big-tent party where all conservative voices are welcome.  And if we embrace that, and act like that big-tent party, then we can win elections and govern in the way that we know best.”

The state Democratic Party
was itself the backer of challenges to two of its incumbents…10th Ohio House District Representative John Barnes and the 12th District’s Bill Patmon, both in the Cleveland area. Both had not voted with the party on some key issues--both did, however, win re-nomination. 

Local political muscle
But, in Barberton, 35th District Ohio House Representative Zack Milcovich did not. He wasn’t challenged by his party or a major faction within it, but by a candidate, Assistant Akron Prosecutor Greta Johnson, with the backing of notable local Democrats like Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic and Summit County Executive Russ Pry.

Keeping it in the family
And it was a sweep in the family-succession races, all involving Democrats. Janine Boyd of East Cleveland won nomination to her term-limited mother Barbara Boyd’s 9th Ohio House seat. 

Similarly, Emilea Sykes of Akron won to run for represent in the 34th House District…something her father Vernon or mother  Barbara have been doing since 1983. 

And, in the Youngstown area, Michele Lepore-Hagan will be the Democratic candidate seeking her term-limited husband Robert Hagan’s 58th House District seat.

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