Get ready for a knock down, drag out fight to represent the newly created U.S. House District 3.  The district was recently created to strengthen nearby GOP districts that are currently held by Republican Congressmen Steve Stivers, Pat Tiberi and Bob Gibbs and, as a result, encompasses a large majority of the registered Democrat voters in Franklin County.

While securing three Republican districts, GOP strategists created one solid Democrat district, setting the stage for one of the most competitive Democratic primaries in the country.  A long list of the “who’s who” of Central Ohio’s Democrat politicians have confirmed their intent to run or are seriously considering entering the race for the 3rd House District. All of the contenders have been on the Central Ohio ballot numerous times; therefore, they have a familiar last name, the ability to fundraise and an established campaign that can hit the ground running.

Checkout the full list of potential candidates:

1.      Ted Celeste – Current State Representative for District 24. His brother, Dick Celeste, served as Ohio Governor from 1983 to 1991.

2.      Michael Stinziano – Current State Representative from District 25. His father, Mike Stinziano, represented District 25 for 22 years.

3.      Tracy Heard – Current State Representative for District 26 who serves on numerous community and civic boards.

4.      Joyce Beatty – Former State Representative for District 27.  She and her husband, Otto Beatty, are longtime business and political leaders in Central Ohio. Beatty was also the House Democrat Leader during their 2008 majority victory.

5.      Charleta Tavares – Current State Senator for District 15 and former Columbus City Council and State Representative.

6.      Ray Miller – Former State Representative and State Senator representing Central Ohio.

7.      John Carney – Columbus attorney and current State Representative for District 22.

8.      David Leland – Former State Representative, Ohio Democratic Party Chair, and lobbyist who also served as a campaign consultant for Gov. Strickland.

9.      Mike Miller – Former State Representative for District 25.

10.  Mary Jo Kilroy – Former County Commissioner and former U.S. Representative for Central Ohio.

11.  Priscilla Tyson – Current Columbus City Council Member.

12.  Stephanie Hightower – Former OSU track star, former Board of Education President and current Columbus Urban League Director.

Whatever they do, they’ll have to do it quickly. The filing deadline to run for U.S. House District 3 is December 7th, 2011, with a primary taking place a few short months later in March 2012. Because of the abundance of interest in the seat and the accelerated timeline, this is shaping up to be one of the most expensive and exciting primaries in the country.

John Singleton, Partner

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