State Rep. Christina Hagan became the first Republican to jump into the race for Ohio’s 16th District on Monday. Four-term GOP Rep. James B. Renacci is running for governor in 2018.
It’s a safe Republican seat that President Donald Trump won by 17 points last fall and could attract a crowded GOP primary field.
Hagan is serving her third term in the state House, to which she was appointed in 2011 when she was a 22-year-old college student. (She first ran when she was 19, but lost.) Hagan holds the same seat that her father held from 2000 to 2008.
Last year, Hagan was featured on Forbes’ “30 Under 30” list for being the youngest woman elected to the state House.
Hagan represents a demographic lacking in Washington, especially among Republicans. There are currently 21 female Republicans in the House — down one from the previous Congress. At least two current female GOP members have already announced they’re leaving Congress at the end of this term, and several others are considering bids for higher office.
Like Renacci when he announced his gubernatorial bid two weeks ago, Hagan peppers her campaign website and her announcement video with language that appeals to Trump voters, namely about “making Ohio great again” and getting “career politicians” out of Washington, D.C.
Hagan campaigned with Trump and was chosen to be an elector before resigning in December because of a legal challenge to state legislators serving as electors, according to The Columbus Dispatch.
In the state House, Hagan co-sponsored legislation that would have banned abortions in Ohio after six weeks of pregnancy. Gov. John Kasich vetoed the bill.