The decision by Republican Congressman Jim Renacci to run for governor opens opportunities for local elected officials to run for the 16th Congressional District.

The announcement by U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, R-Wadsworth, that he's running for governor could set up a scramble by local Republicans to run to succeed him in 2018.

Stark County Democratic Party Chairman Phil Giavasis said he's unaware of which Democratic prospects could run to represent a district drawn in 2011 to favor the Republican incumbent.

The possible local candidates to succeed Renacci include:


State Rep. Christina Hagan, R-Marlboro Township.

Hagan wrote in a text that, "I have been humbled by the number of people in Northeast Ohio who have been encouraging me to run for the 16th District seat should it become open. It is something I am absolutely going to consider, but right now, my focus remains on my state legislative responsibilities."

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Cleveland.com last month mentioned as a possible candidate Hagan, a state legislator since 2011, a social conservative and loyalist to President Donald Trump, as a "favorite among conservatives" who could get the backing of "Trump's political team."

However, Hagan, 28, who's married and has a young daughter, lives in the 7th District, The U.S. Constitution does not require congressmen live in the districts they represent, but voters often expect them to do so. A slice of Hagan's House district west of Hartville is in the 16th Congressional District.


State Sen. Frank LaRose, R-Hudson. 

LaRose, an advocate for revamping the congressional redistricting process, wrote in a text message that, "I'm not closing the door on a potential opportunity to continue serving but my focus is on laying the groundwork for a possible run for (Ohio Secretary of State).

He said he did not have a specific timeline as to when he would announce his plans. He and his family moved out of his longtime home in Copley Township in the 16th District to Hudson in the 14th District in June. Much of LaRose's Senate district does overlap with the 16th.

Cleveland.com also mentioned as possible candidates State Rep. Tom Patton, R-Strongsville; Cuyahoga County Republican Party Chairman Rob Frost; Ohio Senate President Larry Obhof, R-Medina; State Rep. Scott Wiggam; R-Wooster and State Rep. Kristina Roegner; R-Hudson (Roegner lives in the 14th District) as possible candidates.

Those who've said they're not in the running include:


State Rep. Kirk Schuring, R-Jackson Township; Wayne County Commissioner Ron Amstutz, a longtime former state legislator; State Rep. Marilyn Slaby, R-Copley Township and her husband, former State Rep. and former Summit County Prosecutor Lynn Slaby, who unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 1986 and 1994.

State Sen. Scott Oelslager, R-North Canton, who lives in the 16th District, could not be reached for comment. Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor, who lives in Green in the 16th, had been discussed as a candidate for Congress, but last month she announced she would run for governor.

Reach Robert at 330-580-8327 or robert.wang@cantonrep.com

On Twitter: @rwangREP