OH-02: Wagoner (R) Announces He Is Running
As reported in the Toledo Blade here, State Rep. Mark Wagoner (R-Ottawa Hills) will run for the open 2nd Ohio Senate District seat of term-limited State Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green):
He has the blessing of Mr. Gardner and said he has the support of fellow Rep. Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green). Until Paul Gillmor's recent death created a congressional vacancy, Mr. Latta was presumed to be the front-runner to swap seats with Mr. Gardner as they did in 2000.
"This is an opportunity I wasn't thinking of two months ago. The passing of Congressman Gillmor has changed that," said Mr. Wagoner, a 36-year-old attorney.
Also in the article, Ohio Democratic Party Chair Chris Redfern (D-Catawba Island) confirms that he will not seek Gardner's seat, although he says it is one of the Democrats' "prime opportunities" and notes that Gov. Ted Strickland (D) carried the district. "There will be an imminent announcement from a terrific candidate with wide name recognition, a tremendous campaigner," said Redfern.
As to what will happen if Latta does not win the special election in the 5th Ohio Congressional District, Wagoner said "I'll cross that bridge when I come to it. I have all the confidence that Bob is going to win that congressional race, and he is supporting me in my Senate race."
The 2nd Ohio Senate District is in Wood, Ottawa, Lucas Counties in north/northwest Ohio. It includes the 6th House district (Latta), the 46th House District (Gardner), and 80th House district (Redfern). It leans somewhat Republican (PVI R+5).