Two Republicans poised for county commission primary to face Rice in November

Lots of residents took advantage of early voting at the Montgomery County Board of Elections in October 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

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Lots of residents took advantage of early voting at the Montgomery County Board of Elections in October 2021. MARSHALL GORBY\STAFF

Bowers and Wortham both ran for city of Dayton offices in 2021

Republicans Rennes Bowers and Jordan Wortham have filed petitions to run for Montgomery County Commissioner, likely triggering a May primary vote to decide which one faces incumbent Democrat Carolyn Rice in November.

The filing deadline was Wednesday, but the May 3 ballot is not official until the Montgomery County Board of Elections meets Feb. 16 to certify that candidates’ petitions meet all requirements. The general election is Nov. 8, 2022.

No Democrat filed to run against Rice in the primary. Rice, a former county treasurer, won the county commission seat over Republican Doug Barry in November 2018, setting up the current all-female, all-Democratic County Commission.

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Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice

Credit: HUE12, LLC

Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice

Credit: HUE12, LLC

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Montgomery County Commissioner Carolyn Rice

Credit: HUE12, LLC

Credit: HUE12, LLC

Bowers ran for mayor of Dayton last fall, in an attempt to replace outgoing Mayor Nan Whaley, but he lost to Jeff Mims. Bowers was a 30-year veteran of the Dayton Fire Department who retired as a district chief.

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Rennes Bowers

Rennes Bowers

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Rennes Bowers

Wortham ran unsuccessfully for Dayton City Commission in 2021. He served as a Dayton police officer for seven years before being discharged, and worked last year as a security equity investor.

In other races, it does not appear that party primaries are in the offing for any of Montgomery County’s state House or state Senate seats.

Democrat Adison Caruso, of Oakwood, filed for the Ohio House’s 36th District seat, teeing up a match-up against incumbent Andrea White (R-Kettering) in November if those filings are certified.

State Sen. Stephen Huffman, a Tipp City Republican, could face a November challenge from Democrat Ricardo Reddick, depending on a ruling on his petitions. Miami County elections officials said Reddick filed his petitions to challenge Huffman at their office, so they forwarded them to Montgomery County.

State Rep. Rodney Creech filed to run for re-election in November, where he could face Democrat Amy Cox. According to Montgomery County Board of Elections documents, no one from either party filed petitions to challenge incumbent State Reps. Willis Blackshear (D-Dayton), Phil Plummer (R-Butler Twp.) or Tom Young (R-Centerville).

Some state political party Central Committee seats are also contested, with some big names possibly pitted against each other on the Democratic side, given the change in state-level maps. Rice and Whaley are both running for the Central Committee Sixth District woman’s seat, according to BOE documents. (Whaley is also seeking the Democratic nod for the Ohio governor’s race this year.)

Likewise, Democrats Karl Keith and Mark Owens are running for the committee’s Sixth District man’s seat.

Multiple candidates also filed to run for the remainder of a Court of Common Pleas judge’s term.

Democrats Jacqueline Gaines, Angelina Jackson and Tony Schoen filed petitions for the May primary ballot, as did Republicans Bob Hanseman, Michael S.H. Henne and Kimberly Ann Melnick.

The seat is the judgeship left by Judge Gregory Singer, who retired at the end of 2021.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is expected appoint someone to fill Singer’s seat as the primary and general elections go forward, said Jeff Rezabek, director of the Montgomery County Board of Elections. The winner of the November election will take that seat.

The unexpired term there ends July 1, 2025. That race will run in 2024, Rezabek said.

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