SPOTLIGHT

Ohio’s Role in the House Majority

A couple of developments this week have coincided with the state’s Feb. 7 filing deadline.

FILE - In this May 29, 2013 file photo, U.S. Rep Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, speaks at a gathering of tea party activists in Cincinnati. Chabot, who became chairman of the House Small Business Committee when Congress took office last week, plans to continue the committee’s focus on how the government burdens small companies.
AP Photo/Al Behrman
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Kyle Trygstad
Feb. 7, 2018, 9:51 a.m.

Ohio’s candidate filing deadline Wednesday cements several races to watch, while a couple of primary-ballot developments this week could affect the House majority this year and for the next decade.

A couple of the top political stories in the state have focused on President Trump, with Rachel Crooks, who accused Trump in 2016 of sexual misconduct, running for a legislative seat, and the president giving Rep. Jim Renacci’s nascent Senate campaign a couple of shout-outs during an official White House event outside Cincinnati—despite stating that he would stay out of primaries.

As for the House, Democrat Robert Barr ended his campaign against GOP Rep. Steve Chabot in deference to a potentially stronger challenger, Hamilton County Clerk of Courts Aftab Pureval, after outraising the incumbent by 2-to-1 in the fourth quarter. The move could help Democrats add an Ohio seat to their path to the majority.

That could get even easier to do after 2021, as the state legislature approved Tuesday a ballot measure for the May 8 primary aimed at reducing one party’s ability to draw the congressional lines heavily in their own favor. It would likely result in a decrease of the GOP’s eight-seat edge in the delegation.

Kyle Trygstad

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