Early Hints on Ohio House Leadership Candidates
Both House Speaker Jon Husted (R-Kettering) is term-limited in 2008. The Toledo Blade reported last week that Rep. Mark Wagoner (R-Ottawa Hills) and Rep. Bill Batchelder (R-Medina) area the leading contenders to replace him (as Speaker if the GOP holds their majority, or as Minority Leader if it does not). Wagoner's candidacy is buttressed by his fundraising prowess (he transferred $150,000 to the Ohio House Republican Campaign Committee on June 30th, raising his total contributions since 2003 to $373,500). In contrast, Batchelder gave $166,450 in first half of 2007.
However, a reporter John McCarthy writes in the Dayton Daily news today that Rep. Matt Dolan (R-Novelty) is the front runner to replace Husted, followed by Rep. Bill Coley (R-West Chester) and Wagoner, based primarily on fundraising. McCarthy acknowledges that Batchelder wants the position, but discounts his bid because he has not raised much. (h/t Matt Hurley of Weapons of Mass Discussion)
On the Democratic side, the same Toledo Blade story hints that Rep. Todd Book (D-Portsmouth), Jennifer Garrison (D-Marietta), and Rep. Matt Szollosi (D-Toledo) might vie for the Minority Leader position held by Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus).