Lucas County Auditor Larry Kaczala breezed to victory over two opponents last night in the race for the Republican nomination in Ohio s 9th Congressional District.
He will face 11-term incumbent Democrat Marcy Kaptur of Toledo in the Nov. 2 general election.
Mr. Kaczala was winning with an unofficial 51 percent of the vote, compared to 37 percent for Ed Emery, a former sociologist with the city, and 11 percent for Luis T.J. Leal, a Toledo businessman.
Mr. Kaczala said last night he spent most of his campaign efforts in the eastern three counties of the district - Ottawa, Erie, and Lorain - because he felt he was already well known as a longtime officeholder in Lucas County.
“I wanted to make sure people knew who I was and what I stand for. Ed has been on the ballot out there.”
But Mr. Emery was proving to be a strong contender in Erie and Lorain counties, narrowly edging Mr. Kaczala in both, unofficial results showed.
Mr. Emery ran two years ago against Miss Kaptur, capturing a significant percentage of the vote Lorain and Erie counties.
The majority of voters in the district, however, reside in Lucas County.
Mr. Kaczala estimated the fall campaign would cost $1 million to try and unseat Miss Kaptur, who has a war chest in excess of $800,000, according to the Federal Election Commission.
Mr. Kaczala said his fund-raising should increase dramatically now that he has won the primary. He said some supporters told him they felt they could not contribute until after yesterday s primary.
“We win the primary and they will send the checks,” he said.
Upcoming fund-raising events are scheduled for Washington and Toledo, he said.