By DENISE GRANT
The 2018 elections for Ohio’s state representatives may prove to be anything but a sleeper, with most races being contested.
The filing deadline for the May 8 primary election was 4 p.m. Wednesday. Candidate petitions must now be certified by election boards.
Voters will choose a representative in all Ohio House districts this fall. The Ohio 1st Senate District seat also will be contested this year.
The 83rd House District, which includes Hancock, Hardin and a portion of Logan counties, will have a Republican primary contest. One Democrat also is running.
With state Rep. Robert Sprague, R-Findlay, running for state treasurer, there is no incumbent in the race. Republican Cheryl Buckland, 64, of Findlay, will face Jon Cross, 39, of Kenton, in the GOP primary.
Buckland is a Republican State Central Committee member. Cross, of Kenton, is president/chief executive officer and economic development director of the Hardin County Chamber and Business Alliance, Kenton.
The winner will face Democrat Ashley Philipp, of rural McComb, in the November general election.
There will be a lot of competition for the 1st Senate District seat currently held by Robert McColley, R-Napoleon.
McColley, previously a state representative, was appointed to the seat in November after it was vacated by former state Sen. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay. Hite resigned after admitting “inappropriate behavior” with a state employee.
McColley, 33, is now seeking election to the post, and will face two challengers in the Republican primary: Craig Kupferberg of Findlay, 59, a former Findlay High School principal, and Robert D. Barker Jr., 53, of Van Wert.
The winner will compete in November with Democrat Adam Papin, 36, of Bryan, who is unopposed in his party’s primary.
The 1st Senate District includes all of Henry, Putnam, Williams, Defiance, Paulding, Hancock, Van Wert and Hardin counties; the southeastern corner of Fulton County; and northern sections of Auglaize and Logan counties.
These are the candidates in other Ohio House districts in the area:
- 88th Ohio House District — Incumbent Republican Bill Reineke, of Tiffin, will be unopposed in the primary. The district will have a Democratic primary, with candidates Rachel Crooks and Collin R. Paylor, both of Tiffin, facing off.
Crooks is one of several women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct.
The 88th District covers all of Sandusky County and part of Seneca County.
- 3rd Ohio House District — Incumbent Theresa Gavarone, R-Bowling Green, will face a GOP primary challenge from John E. Clemons of Northwood.
Bowling Green Councilman Daniel Gordon, a Democrat, will be unopposed in the primary election.
The 3rd House District includes only Wood County.
- 4th Ohio House District — Incumbent Robert Cupp, R-Lima, is unopposed in the primary. Democrat Tristam Cheeseman, also of Lima, filed to run, but he tweeted Wednesday that his candidacy petitions didn’t have enough valid signatures.
The 4th House District includes only Allen County.
- 81st Ohio House District — Jim Hoops, a Republican, was appointed to the 81st District seat after former Rep. McColley went to the Ohio Senate in the fall. Hoops will face a primary challenger, Thomas Liebrecht of Ottawa.
In November, the winner will face Democrat Janet Breneman of West Unity, who is unopposed in the primary.
The 81st House District includes Putnam, Henry and Williams counties and the southeast corner of Fulton County.
- 87th House District — Republican Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky was appointed to fill the seat of Wes Goodman, who resigned last year in a sex scandal. McClain will face two fellow Republicans in the May primary: Steve Reinhard of Bucyrus, and Doug Weisenauer of Sycamore.
The Democrats will also have a primary race between Mary Pierce-Broadwater of Crestline, and James Wheeler of Upper Sandusky.
The 87th District is composed of Wyandot, Crawford and Morrow counties, northern Marion County and the southwest corner of Seneca County.