Two-Way Contest Seen in Race for Gillmor Seat

Posted October 2, 2007 at 10:16am

As the filing deadline for the 5th district special election passed Friday, nine candidates filed to get on the ballot in the special election to fill the late Rep. Paul Gillmor’s (R) seat.

State Sen. Steve Buehrer and state Rep. Bob Latta filed their paperwork for the Republican primary. The two elected officials are joined by Mark Hollenbaugh, Fred Pieper, Michael Reynolds and Michael Smitley in the race for the GOP nomination, which is widely perceived to be a contest between Buehrer and Latta.

The Democratic nominee in the last two cycles, Robin Weirauch, filed again for the primary. She will compete against Earl Campbell and George Mays in the primary on Nov. 6. The general election — in which the GOP nominee is likely to be the heavy favorite — is scheduled for Dec. 11.

In related news, Latta’s campaign announced that he had raised more than $120,000 since he entered the race last month and started television advertising Monday. The Federal Election Commission does not require campaigns to file their financial reports until Oct. 25.

The district has voted reliably Republican in the past few election cycles, re-electing Gillmor with at least 57 percent of the vote in every general election since his first race in 1988. Latta’s father held the seat prior to Gillmor and Latta lost to the late Member in his first primary in 1988.

Though Latta has greater name identification in the district, Buehrer’s state Senate district makes up a larger portion of Congressional district than Latta’s. Some political experts consider Buehrer to be the more conservative candidate, which could help him in a low-turn-out special primary.

— Shira Toeplitz