Local GOP leaders selected four candidates to vie for the nomination on May 19 to replace retiring Rep. Timothy Johnson on the GOP ballot.
On Saturday, Stark County Republican Party Chairman Mike Bigger announced the following candidates would proceed to the next round: former Johnson aide Jerry Clarke, former Miss America Erika Harold, businesswoman Kathy Wassink and Rodney Davis, a former aide to Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.).
Johnson suddenly announced his retirement after the March primary, tasking local Republicans with finding a new nominee. Local county Republican Party chairmen will take a final, weighted vote later this month based on GOP voter performance in their area.
“These chairmen are going through a very thorough and deliberative process,” Bigger wrote in an email. “The chairmen will continue to deliberate with their committees and voters in their respective counties the next two weeks.”
Emergency room physician David Gill is the Democratic nominee. Democrats drew the district to be competitive, but Gill upset the party’s preferred candidate in the primary.
The fate of the seat is now unclear because of Gill’s surprising victory and the uncertainty over the GOP nominee.