Early voting starts today for May election

Voters in the Dayton region will decide on more than 50 contested races and tax issues on the May 8 ballot, and you can start voting today.

Voters have the option of casting an absentee ballot either in-person or by mail. For more information on absentee voting, visit

On the ballot are races for governor, U.S. senator and state Issue 1, which would change the way Ohio draws congressional district lines. Many communities will also have primaries for Congress, state House and Senate and some county offices.

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Here’s a look at some of the key races and issues on the ballot:

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Governor: Ohio Gov. John Kasich can’t run for re-election and both parties have primaries to replace him. On the Republican side, Attorney General Mike DeWine and Secretary of State Jon Husted are running against Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Hamilton-area businessman Nathan Estruth. On the Democratic side the candidates are former Ohio Attorney General and Treasurer Richard Cordray, former Cleveland Congressman Dennis Kucinich, state Sen. Joe Schiavoni, former Supreme Court Justice Bill O’Neill, Dayton resident Larry Ealy and Paul Ray.

U.S. Senate: The battle to take on Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown is headed by two millionaire Republicans. U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci has lined up support from the Ohio Republican Party in his fight against Cleveland businessman Mike Gibbons. Also on the Republican ballot are Melissa Ackison, Don Elijah Eckhart and Dan Kiley.

State Issue 1: If passed, it would initially require 50 percent of the minority party in each chamber to approve a map of congressional boundaries for 10 years. It also would limit how often counties can be split into multiple congressional seats, and require public hearings and the ability for the public to submit maps.

State Treasurer: The Republicans have a primary between Robert Sprague and Sandra O’Brien. The winner will run against Democrat Rob Richardson in November.

Congress: In the 10th District, Dayton-area Congressman Mike Turner is facing two Republican challengers — John Anderson and John Mitchel — in his quest for a ninth term. On the Democratic side, local businesswoman Theresa Gasper is facing two challengers: Robert Klepinger and Michael Milisits.

In the 1st District, which includes all of Warren County and most of Hamilton County, Rep. Steve Chabot has a primary challenge from Samuel Ronan.

In the 8th District, four Democrats are running in an effort to challenger Congressman Warren Davidson in November.

U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan has a primary challenge from Joseph Miller in the 4th District. Three Democrats — Janet Garrett, Leah Sellers and Cody James Slatzer-Rose — are running.

State House and Senate: Several local Statehouse primaries are competitive this year, including one in the south Dayton suburbs. In the 42nd District — which includes the Miamisburg, West Carrollton, and Miami Twp. area — state Rep. Niraj Antani is facing two Republican challengers: Miamisburg Vice Mayor Sarah Clark and Marcus Rech. Democrats Zachary Dickerson and Autumn Kern are also running.

In the 73rd District, which includes most of western Greene County, state Rep. Rick Perales is running against Republican challenger Jocelyn Smith. Smith has accused Perales of fondling and choking her. Perales has admitted to having an inappropriate relationship with Smith, but denies her claims.

In the 39th District, which includes most of the city of Dayton, Rep. Fred Strahorn is running against Democratic challenger Walter Hickman.

In the 40th District, which includes Huber Heights, Vandalia, Englewood and parts of Dayton, Riverside, Union and Butler and Clay townships, Democrats Albert Griggs and Ryan Taylor are facing off for a chance to run against Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer.

State Rep. Jeff Rezabek decided to run for a judge seat opening up his Statehouse seat. Republicans Kenneth Henning and Jeffrey Todd Smith are running in that primary in the 43rd District. The winner will take on Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley in November. The district includes Trotwood, part of Dayton, Clayton, Brookville, New Lebanon and Harrison, Jackson and Perry townships. The district also includes all of Preble County.

In Warren County, state Rep. Scott Lipps is running against Republican challenger Daniel Kroger in the 62nd House District. In Senate District 7, state Sen. Steve Wilson is facing Republican challenger Brad Lamoreaux.

In Miami and Darke counties, the wide-open Republican primary in the 80th House District has four candidates running: George Lovett, John O’Brien, Jena Powell, and JD Winteregg.

County races: Montgomery County has Democratic and Republican races for commissioner. There is also a Republican primary on the ballot for clerk of courts. Jeff Rezabek and C. Ralph Wilcoxson are running in a Republican primary for Montgomery County Juvenile Court judge.

In Greene County, there are Democratic and Republican primaries for county commissioner. There’s also a Republican primary for clerk of courts.

In Warren County, County Commissioner Tom Grossman is facing a primary challenge from former state Rep. Ron Maag. No Democrat filed in that race.

Dayton City Commission: Since Commissioner Joey Williams stepped down, there is a special election to fill his term. Two ministers — the Rev. Darryl Fairchild and the Rev. Daryl Ward are running.

Tax issues: Lebanon, Yellow Springs, Carlisle, and Little Miami have school levies on the ballot.

Bellbrook, Union, Waynesville, Covington, Clay Twp., German Twp., Harrison Twp., Jefferson Twp., Perry Twp., Washington Twp., Wayne Twp., Brown Twp. have tax issues on the ballot for fire, police or other services.

The Columbus Dispatch contributed to this report.

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