Candidates filed by the 4 p.m. Wednesday deadline to run for county, state legislative and congressional seats.
About 19 months after she lost a Republican congressional primary contest, Christina Hagan is looking to get back in public office.
The former state representative is seeking to be congressman in another congressional district that she again does not live in.
But this other district overlaps the Ohio House district she represented for nearly eight years. She’ll face off in the March 17 primary against six other Republican candidates for the chance to be the underdog to take on nine-term Democratic incumbent Tim Ryan.
Hagan, 31, filed her candidate petition 10 minutes before the 4 p.m. deadline Wednesday at the Summit County Board of Elections. By law, congressional candidates file their petitions in the most populous county in the district. Hagan had to submit at least 50 signatures of registered Republican voters in the 13th District. All of her signatures were collected Tuesday and Wednesday.
Harlan Hill, her campaign manager in 2018, released a statement on her behalf announcing that former Ohio Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor had endorsed her.
“It has become clear that the stakes are too high for strong, principled conservatives to sit on the sidelines,” she said, according to the statement. “Radical Democrat Congress members are working every day to undermine the very foundation of our representative republic and the values we hold dear, including the rights of the unborn, the right to bear arms, the right to secure our borders, and defend our jobs from being sent overseas.”
Hagan lives in Marlboro Township in the 7th Congressional District, which is represented by five-term Republican incumbent Bob Gibbs of Lakeville. She was the state representative for the Ohio 50th House District from 2011 to 2018, which includes Alliance and Lexington Township in the 13th Congressional District. The U.S. Constitution does not require congressmen to live in the districts they represent, but nearly all of them do.
The six other Republicans seeking to be their party’s 13th District nominee are Duane Hennen of Warren, a businessman and former pastor; Louis Lyras of Campbell, who owns a company that paints bridges; Richard Morckel of Akron, a Canton native who garnered less than a third of the vote against Ryan in 2016; Jason Mormando of Youngstown; Robert Santos of Youngstown; and Donald Truex of Rittman. Libertarian Party candidate Michael Fricke of Kent has also filed to run.
In 2018, in the 16th Congressional District primary contest, Anthony Gonzalez won the primary 53 percent to Hagan’s 41 percent and went on to become congressman.
Republican aides in Columbus drew the boundaries of the 13th District in 2011 to pack Democratic voters into Ryan’s district so Republican congressional candidates would win the surrounding districts. Except for 2002 and 2010, when former congressman Jim Traficant ran against Ryan as an independent, Ryan has won re-election every two years with 61 percent to 80 percent of the vote.
However, in 2016, Republican President Donald Trump showed signs of strength in the 13th, winning Trumbull and Portage counties and losing by a smaller margin in Mahoning County than past Republican nominees. And Ryan won the lowest percentage of the vote in years in 2018 when he took 61.8 percent of the vote.
In the 16th Congressional District, Democratic voters on March 17 will select Aaron Godfrey or Ronald Karpus III to run against Republican incumbent Gonzalez. Godfrey lost a six-way primary contest for the congressional seat in 2018.
In the 7th Congressional District, Democrat Patrick Pikus, of Canton, who lost his primary battle for the seat in 2018, and Libertarian Party member Brandon Lape of Danville, are set to face Republican five-term incumbent Bob Gibbs in November. The race has no contested primaries.
Notable contests expected in the November election include:
– A rematch of the 2018 general election contest for state representative for the 49th House District, Democratic incumbent Thomas West of Canton versus Republican challenger James Haavisto of Massillon.
– Democratic At-Large Alliance Councilman Brian K. Simeone challenging Republican incumbent Reggie Stolzfus of Paris Township for state representative for the 50th District.
– Attorney Angela Alexander, a Democrat, challenging Republican incumbent Dixie Park for Stark County Probate Court judge.
– Republican Lynn Miller Todaro of Massillon challenging Democratic incumbent Louis Giavasis of Plain Township for Stark County Clerk of Courts.
– Republican Ronald Rusnak of Canton seeking to the Stark County Coroner position from incumbent Democrat Anthony Bertin of Canton. Rusnak also ran in 2004.
– Katherine Baylock, of Canton, a perennial challenger and Democrat, seeking to take the Stark County commissioner’s seat from Republican incumbent Bill Smith of Canton Township.
– Republican Jamie Walters, voted out in November as Jackson Township trustee, trying to take the Stark County Recorder’s position from longtime Democratic incumbent Rick Campbell.
– Democratic incumbent William B. Hoffman of North Canton versus Republican challenger Jeff Furr of Utica for judge for the 5th District Court of Appeals.
On the issues side of the ballot, the only countywide issue will be the Stark County Park District. It is seeking approval of a renewal of its 1-mill levy, which if approved would lead to no tax increases. The park board, chastened by voters’ overwhelming rejection of a proposed levy increase in November to fund expansion of the park district’s trail system, chose to stand pat and seek no increase, said Stark Parks Director Bob Fonte.
Voters in the Perry, North Canton City, Louisville and Canton City school districts will see funding requests.
Reach Repository writer Robert Wang at (330) 580-8327 or email@example.com. Twitter: @rwangREP