Latta Wins Special Primary, Now Favored to Replace Gillmor

Posted November 7, 2007 at 10:14am

State Rep. Bob Latta won the Republican primary in Ohio’s 5th district special election Tuesday. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Latta had 44 percent of the vote to state Sen. Steve Buehrer’s 40 percent — a margin of victory of about 2,649 votes out of 73,251 votes cast in the primary.

Latta now moves on to a special general election on Dec. 11.

The special contest is to fill the seat vacated by the late Rep. Paul Gillmor (R), who died in early September. Gillmor held the seat since 1988, when he defeated Latta in the primary by just over two dozen votes. Latta’s father held the seat before Gillmor.

The contest between Latta and Buehrer grew nasty in the final days, and Buehrer had the Club for Growth on his side, airing ads that hit Latta for his budget votes in the Legislature.

National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (Okla.) congratulated Latta on his victory in a statement.

“I am confident that Bob will be successful in his campaign to succeed the late Congressman Gillmor,” Cole said. “And if given the opportunity, I believe he will serve with the same great distinction and dedication that Paul brought to his job every day.”

The 2004 and 2006 Democratic nominee, Robin Weirauch, won her party’s nod for a third time Tuesday. Latta will face her in the general election Dec. 11.

The Bowling Green-area district is considered a stronghold for Republicans, so Latta is favored to become its next Member of Congress.

— Shira Toeplitz