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Published: Thursday, 2/20/2014

Rex Damschroder's wife to run for his seat, then he might replace her

Ohio state Rep. Rex Damschroder Ohio state Rep. Rex Damschroder

COLUMBUS — There may be a Damschroder on the general election ballot after all in the 88th District as state Rep. Rex Damschroder (R., Fremont) tries to prevent a paperwork error from forcing him out of the state House.

Mr. Damschroder said today that his wife, Rhonda, will run as a write-in candidate for the Republican nomination in the May 6 primary election with the understanding that, should she win the nomination, she would withdraw from the race and he would replace her on the GOP candidate on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.

“She has offered to let me use her name as a write-in, acting as a placeholder,” Mr. Damschroder said. “It’s the only legal remedy we can find…I’m apologizing and humbly asking for voters’ support again. I screwed up, and I take credit for that.”

He said he has no reason to believe that the Republican parties of Sandusky and Seneca counties would not name him to a GOP ballot vacancy.

“Heck, I was running unopposed,” he said. “Everybody had a chance to run, and nobody was out there.”

Mr. Damschroder wants a third two-year term in his second go-round in the Ohio House. He was forced to withdraw from the race after learning that he’d failed to sign two of his five petitions to officially become a candidate.

The move also denied him the chance to run as a write-in candidate for a position for which he would have otherwise been unopposed.

But Mrs. Damschroder may have write-in competition. Bill Reineke, Jr., president of Tiffin Ford, Inc. and a partner in Reineke Family Dealerships, has announced he is exploring a write-in candidacy.

Democrats also believe Mr. Damschroder’s error may have created an opening. Although no candidate filed petitions to run, Bill Young, a retired Green Springs government teacher who ran unsuccessfully against Mr. Damschroder in 2012, may run as a write-in candidate for the nomination.

The winner of the nomination would be the write-in candidate who gets the most votes, as long as the total is at least 50.

The 88th District includes all of Sandusky and all but a southwestern sliver of Seneca.

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