Ohio’s Democratic Party chairman will be among those next year trying to capitalize on any anti-Republican sentiment leftover from the repeal of Senate Bill 5 in an attempt to swing control of the Ohio House of Representatives back toward them.
Chris Redfern, who has led the state’s Democratic party since December, 2005, will run for the 89th House District, which includes Ottawa and Erie counties.
Mr. Redfern, of Catawba Island Township, was previously a state representative and the House Democratic leader. He was barred from running again in 2008 because of term limits.
He said the election next year will be about “economic opportunity and building the middle class whether you live in a place like Port Clinton or Toledo, the middle class has been left behind.”
Part of his role will be to “stand in the way of implementing a far right overreaching agenda,” Mr. Redfern said.
He will face Republican Donald Janik. They are seeking to replace State Rep. Dennis Murray, who will not seek reelection in 2012.
Mr. Janik could not be reached for comment Wednesday.
Statewide, no Republican incumbent state representative will go unchallenged in 2012, according to the House Democratic Caucus Campaign.
“The GOP’s partisan agenda is out of touch, which is why their top legislative priority — Senate Bill 5 — was soundly rejected in Republican districts across the state,” said House Democratic Caucus Campaign Co-Chair State Rep. Jay Goyal (D., Mansfield.) “We need to focus on job creation to strengthen Ohio’s middle class-not this divisive, partisan agenda. Ohioans know that they only way to stop this anti-middle class agenda is for Ohioans to take back the People’s House in 2012.”
Ohio House Republican Organizational Committee Chairman Matt Huffman (R., Lima) said their list of candidates includes small business owners, elected officials, school board members, and educators.
“The House Republican Caucus has demonstrated that we can and will do what is necessary to put Ohio back on the right track, and our candidates want to be a part of our effort to continue rebuilding Ohio,” Mr. Huffman said. “We’ve closed an $8 billion budget deficit without raising taxes, we’ve reformed how government operates in a number of different ways, and, unlike when the Democrats controlled state government, we are actually bringing and retaining jobs in Ohio.”
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