Several local Republican lawmakers are considering running against Rep. Zack Space (D) next year, although none is ready to toss his hat into the ring yet.
Space won the conservative 18th district seat in 2006, after then-Rep. Bob Ney (R) was indicted and convicted on corruption charges. Although President Barack Obama only won 45 percent of the vote in the district last November, Space was re-elected with 60 percent of the vote largely because Republicans failed to recruit a good candidate to run against him.
State Sen. Jimmy Stewart (R) said he is considering running for the seat, especially if Space runs for Senate and its an open seat race.
Im taking a close look at it either way, Stewart said.
State Sen. John Carey (R) said he had not ruled out a bid either and would make a decision sometime this summer.
I guess Im interested. I just want to see what the political landscape is at that time, Carey said. Ive got other considerations as far as family goes.
State Rep. Jay Hottinger (R) confirmed in a phone interview that he was looking at challenging Space but called his chances of getting into the race slim. Whats more, Ohio is slated to lose one or two Congressional seats in 2011 during reapportionment and redistricting.
I really dont have a desire to run and win and then have the seat disappear, Hottinger said.
Space Ponders Senate, but Bid Still Unlikely
Rep. Zack Space (D) said last week that there is still a possibility that he will run for the Buckeye States open Senate seat in 2010, but he didnt sound optimistic that such a campaign would come to fruition.
If Space decides to run for retiring Sen. George Voinovichs (R) seat, he would join a primary with two statewide Democratic officials who have already announced their candidacies: Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher.
In an interview, Space played coy about his intentions for 2010 but did not rule out running for Voinovichs seat.
Its a possibility. Its out there, Space said. But the honest truth is Im not really giving it much thought. Im trying to take care of business here. Weve got so much to worry about here; it would be doing my constituents a disservice if I were focused on something other than that.
Whoever wins the Democratic nomination will likely face former Rep. Rob Portman, who national Republicans see as their best candidate to hold Voinovichs seat.
Leaders from military and veterans service organizations joined Sens. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., Kelly Ayotte , R-N.H., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., at a press conference to urge the Senate to replace a provision in the budget proposal that cuts retirement benefits for veterans. Wicker, Ayotee, and Graham earlier called for a bipartisan solution to replace the $6.3 billion in cuts to military retiree benefits.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.