Ohio: Four Democrats Seek New Columbus Seat

Former Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy is the favorite to win the Democratic primary in Ohio's 3rd district. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

As the White House hopefuls fight to win the Buckeye State in today’s GOP primary, several Democrats are vying for a ticket to Capitol Hill in a lesser-watched open-seat primary.

Four Democrats are running for the essentially new 3rd district in Columbus. Former Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy is favored to win the nod, but state Rep. Ted Celeste, former state House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty and Columbus City Councilwoman Priscilla Tyson are also running.

The state’s other primary worth watching is in northern Ohio, where Reps. Marcy Kaptur and Dennis Kucinich are seeking the Democratic nod in the 9th district. The redrawn district spans from west Cleveland to Toledo.

Both districts are safe Democratic seats, and the party’s nominee is all but assured of winning in November.

The Ohio primaries are the first contests of the cycle and serve as a kickoff to the 2012 Congressional calendar. The polls close statewide at 7:30 p.m.