Family Feud: the scramble for Terry Blair’s OH-42 seat

Terry Blair died in office last week. He was up for re-election in the fall. As usual, the Dayton Daily news doesn’t give you the basic information you need to understand what happens next.

Of course, since the political parties are involved- they aren’t exactly open and transparent either- and the questions about who is legitimately in charge of the local GOP haven’t been answered.

The standard policy in Ohio is what put Rhine McLin into politics (after her father died in office)- the party gets to pick the successor- as the Montgomery County Dems’ recently picked Fred Strahorn for the 39th House seat after Clayton Luckie went from the State House to the big house for campaign fund mishandling.

The laws are written in lawyer English:

(G) If a person nominated in a primary election or nominated by petition under section 3517.012 of the Revised Code as a party candidate for election at the next general election dies, the vacancy so created may be filled by the same committee in the same manner as provided in this section for the filling of similar vacancies created by withdrawals or disqualifications under section 3513.052 of the Revised Code, except that the certification, when filling a vacancy created by death, may not be filed with the secretary of state, or with a board of the most populous county of a district, or with the board of a county in which the major portion of the population of a subdivision is located, later than four p.m. of the tenth day before the day of such general election, or with any other board later than four p.m. of the fifth day before the day of such general election.

via Lawriter – ORC – 3513.31 Withdrawal, disqualification, or death of candidate prior to general election..

So- I’m not sure if I get this right- the State Central Committee picks who fills the unexpired term- but the county party picks who gets to take Blair’s spot on the ballot? The reality is, there are so few days left in the state legislative calendar- they may not bother putting someone in- mostly because there is a gaggle of GOPers who want the spot (in no particular order):

  • Tom Young who ran against Terry Blair- and lost.
  • Sandra Brassington- who works for Governor Kasich as a field rep, and used to be the political director of the Montgomery County GOP.
  • Sarah Clark- Miamisburg Council.
  • Mark Crawford- a policy wonk, who sent a 2 page letter to all GOP central committee members outlining why he should get the nod.
  • Niraj Antani – UD Law student who worked on Romney campaign.
  • Dave Westbrock- Dr. who ran against Turner multiple times.
  • Scott Paulson- Washington Township Trustee
  • Mike Nolan- former Miami Township Trustee
  • Deb Preston- former Miami Township Trustee

Whether or not the person gets to run as an incumbent or not, is really not that critical. The Dem’s have Leonard D. Johnson running against him. In the primary- Leonard got a whopping 1,603 votes, Blair had 5,222.

There is no site coming up for Mr. Johnson at this point- and the absolutely worthless site hosted by the Montgomery County Democratic Party doesn’t even have a list of upcoming candidates.

If you know of any other people seeking anointment to the ballot and Mr. Blair’s seat- please feel free to comment.

What is crazy about Ohio- is we’ll spend thousands of dollars to hold unopposed elections in Moraine as a special election, but, in the case of Mr. Blair’s seat, it’s all up to the party insiders.

From the DDn:

MORAINE — Two women appointed to Moraine City Council will run unopposed for separate ward seats in a special election that one official called a “waste of money.”

Teri Murphy and Shirley Ann Whitt, who were appointed in the spring after two council members moved out of the city, were the only two candidates to file petitions to be on the Sept. 9 ballot, according to the Montgomery County Board of Elections. The petitions of both were certified Friday.

Because of the timing of the resignations by Dana Bonfield and Kim Misner, Moraine’s city charter requires it to hold a special election. The election will cost the city about $3,000, according to Jan Kelly, director of the board of elections.

With both candidates unopposed, holding a special election is “a waste of money. It doesn’t make sense,” Kelly said.

She said board of elections officials asked the state legislature to consider abolishing all special elections, but no change has been made.

via Special election has no contests.

If you wonder why fewer people vote, and why many think their vote doesn’t matter- how we fill vacancies should be right up at the top of the list.

Any bets on who the GOP will pick for Blair’s spot? My money is on Nolan, which makes the Leitzell vs Foley race for County Commission a whole different animal.


  2:15 pm July 7 2014 An inside source tells me that it’s Paulson vs Young for the final showdown. Vote to be held July 17


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