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Crowded Race To Replace Stivers In 15th District Special Election

J. Scott Applewhite
Associated Press

A special primary election for the 15th congressional district to replace Steve Stivers will be held Tuesday.

Eleven Republicans are vying for the vacant seat formerly held by the Republican Stivers. He left Congress on May 16 to head up the Ohio Chamber of Commerce.

GOP candidates include State Rep. Jeff LaRe, who has been endorsed by Stivers. LaRe is from the Lancaster-area and previously worked in law enforcement.

Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Mike Carey, a coal lobbyist. He has raised the most money in the race.

Some of the other Republicans in the race include State Rep. Stephanie Kunze of Hilliard, State Senator Bob Peterson of Washington Court House and former Columbus NAACP President Ruth Edmonds.

On the Democratic side, only two candidates are running for the seat. They are retired U.S. Army Col. Greg Betts, who served several combat tours in the Middle East and State Rep. Allison Russo of Upper Arlington.

Polls open Tuesday morning at 6:30. The winners from the primary election will compete to serve the final year of Stivers' term in the November election.

The district serves around half of Franklin County as well as all Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Madison, Morgan, Perry, Pickaway and Vinton counties and portions of Athens, Fayette, and Ross counties. The makeup of the district could be impacted by the upcoming redistricting process.

The district was been controlled by Republicans since 1967 with the exception of Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy holding the seat from 2009-11.

Debbie Holmes began her career in broadcasting in Columbus after graduating from The Ohio State University. She left the Buckeye state to pursue a career in television news and worked as a reporter and anchor in Moline, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.