By LOU WILIN
Voters in Hancock and neighboring counties will nominate candidates for one Ohio Senate seat and six Ohio House seats in the May 6 primary.
There are primary election contests for four of these seven seats.
State senators serve four-year terms and House members serve two years.
1st Senate District
Milo Schaffner, 66, of Van Wert, and Corey Shankleton, 35, of Kunkle, are challenging incumbent Sen. Cliff Hite, 59, of Findlay, for the Republican nomination to represent the state’s 1st Senate District.
Schaffner is a Hoaglin Township trustee in Van Wert County and a grain farmer. He owns Schaffner Tool & Die, Van Wert, and formerly taught machine trades at Vantage Vocational Center, Van Wert.
Shankleton is pastor for Emerging Streams Fellowship, Stryker.
Hite is in his first term in the state Senate. In January 2011, he was named by Senate Republicans to succeed Steve Buehrer, who was appointed administrator of the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation by Gov. John Kasich.
Hite was beginning his third term representing the 76th District in the Ohio House before being named state senator. Before that he was a Findlay High School teacher and football coach.
The 1st Senate District contains Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Defiance and Williams counties, and part of Auglaize, Fulton and Logan counties.
83rd House District
Unopposed for party nominations to represent the state’s 83rd District in the Ohio House are Republican Rep. Robert Sprague, 41, of Findlay, and Libertarian Gregory Norris, 50, of Rushsylvania. They will square off in November.
The 83rd District comprises Hancock and Hardin counties and northern Logan County.
3rd House District
Republican state Rep. Tim Brown, 51, Bowling Green, is unopposed in seeking his party’s nomination for re-election.
In November, he will face Democrat Steve Long, 49, of Perrysburg, and Green candidate Nathan Eberly, 32, of Bowling Green. They both are unopposed for their party nominations.
The 3rd House District is composed of only Wood County.
4th House District
Allen County voters this year will elect a new representative to the Ohio House. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, is not seeking re-election because of term limits. Two Republicans are seeking their party’s nomination on May 6 to succeed him: Kurt Neeper, 33, of Lima; and Bob Cupp, 63, of Lima.
Bo Huenke, 58, of Elida, is unopposed for the Democratic nomination for the 4th House District seat.
Neeper is vice president of business development for Superior Federal Credit Union, Lima. He served on Lima City Council for one term, which expired last January, and did not seek re-election because he planned to run for the House seat, he said. Neeper also is treasurer of United Way of Greater Lima.
Cupp has been an Ohio Supreme Court justice, state senator, Allen County commissioner, and Lima prosecutor. He is an attorney.
The 4th House District is composed of only Allen County.
81st House District
Republicans Robert McColley, 29, of Napoleon, and Jason Rockey, 40, of Montpelier, are vying for their party’s nomination for the 81st District seat in the Ohio House. Republican incumbent Lynn Wachtmann is not seeking re-election.
McColley is an attorney and director of economic development for Henry County.
Rockey has been a service technician for Ohio Gas Co., Bryan, for 17 years. He served on Montpelier Village Council from 2007 to 2013. He has been a member of the Williams County Republican Central Committee for 10 years.
In the fall, the Republican winner will face Democrat John Lymanstall, 60, of Napoleon, who is unopposed for his party’s nomination. The Courier was unable to obtain a photo of him.
The 81st House District includes Putnam, Henry and Williams counties and the southeast corner of Fulton County.
87th House District
Republican Rep. Jeff McClain, 56, of Upper Sandusky, and Democrat Jeffrey A. Lehart, 46, of Galion, are unopposed for party nominations and will square off in the fall.
The 87th House District comprises Wyandot, Crawford and Morrow counties, and part of Seneca and Marion counties.
88th House District
Three Republicans are vying for their party’s nomination as write-in candidates in the 88th House District: Rhonda Damschroder, of Fremont; Richard Geyer, of Fremont; and Bill Reineke Jr., of Tiffin.
The district comprises Sandusky County and the southwest corner of Seneca County.
Damschroder, 62, is a retired teacher. If she wins the GOP nomination, she plans to quit the race, so Sandusky and Seneca County Republican leaders can replace her on the fall ballot with her husband, Rex, who bungled his candidacy petitions.
Rex Damschroder, 64, withdrew his candidacy before being disqualified. He is the current representative of the 88th House District, and has served several terms as a state representative.
Geyer, 53, is a Ballville Township trustee in Sandusky County. He teaches marketing online classes for Liberty University, Bethel University and Indiana Wesleyan University.
Reineke, 59, is president of the Reineke family’s Tiffin Ford Lincoln dealership. He is the state director for the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Unopposed for the Democratic nomination is William “Bill” Young, 62, of Green Springs.
Wilin: 419-427-8413 Send an E-mail to Lou Wilin