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Appointed senator to face election challenges in Warren County

Published: Tuesday, February 06, 2018 @ 2:16 PM


            Brad Lamoreaux has filed to run against Steve Wilson, the appointed state senator in Ohio’s District 7.
Brad Lamoreaux has filed to run against Steve Wilson, the appointed state senator in Ohio’s District 7.

Ohio Senator Steve Wilson should have opposition in his run for the District 7 seat to which he was appointed little more than a year ago.

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Brad Lamoreaux of Lebanon has filed to run against Wilson, R-Hamilton Twp., in the May Republican primary. Democrat Sara Bitter of Loveland also filed on Monday and would face Wilson or Lamoreaux in November, according to an on-line list of candidates posted by the Warren County Board of Elections.

Wilson replaced Shannon Jones, who was elected to the Warren County Board of Commissioners as she faced her term limit in the Ohio Senate.

Former Springboro Board of Education President Kelly Kohls, who unsuccessfully challenged Jones’ reelection to the state senate in 2014, had not returned her petitions to join the race by 1 p.m. Tuesday.

RELATED: Senate race tests tea party influence

The winners of the Republican primary usually win general election in Warren County.

Another May primary race pits former State Rep. Ron Maag against County Commissioner Tom Grossmann.

RELATED: GOP leaders in primary election race in Warren County

State Rep. Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, also looks to face primary opposition. Daniel Kroger of Clearcreek Twp. has filed to oppose Lipps in the Republican primary.

RELATED: 3-way GOP race a test of tea party influence in Warren County

State Rep. Paul Zeltwanger, R-Mason, filed Monday and so far looks to be unopposed in the May primary. However Nikki Foster of Mason is filed to run against him in November for the 54th District seat. Foster is unopposed in the Democratic primary.

The filing deadline is 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 7. The primary is May 8.

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Trump action on guns: Brown, Kasich, Ohio leaders react

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 8:43 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 8:43 PM

Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown

Sen. Sherrod Brown called President Donald Trump’s effort Tuesday to ban devices that convert semi-automatic weapons into automatic guns “long overdue,” but said “more has to be done to protect Americans” against the growing number of mass shootings in schools.

Brown, D-Ohio, said “weapons of war do not belong on our streets,” and called for a ban on what is known as the gun show loophole which critics charge allow people to buy guns at a show without rigorous background checks.

Brown insisted he “respects” the rights of hunters and collectors and “no one intends to take away their guns. But when our children are not safe in their schools, it’s clear more has to be done to protect Americans against gun violence.”

By contrast, Rep. Steve Stivers of Upper Arlington, who heads the House Republican re-election campaign, voiced “support” for Trump’s decision, adding modifications such as bump stocks “only serve to spread shots in as wide of range and as quickly as possible, providing no legitimate sporting use and have no place in our communities.”

Kevin Smith, a spokesman for Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, offered a more cautious approach. Kevin Smith said “Rob supports” the review by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms “and he looks forward to their decision.”

Ohio Gov. John Kasich tweeted Tuesday: “Let’s give credit where credit is due. This is absolutely the right thing to do, and hopefully more will follow.”

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Ohio Secretary of State race to get national attention as 2020 looms

Published: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 10:28 AM
Updated: Tuesday, February 20, 2018 @ 10:28 AM

Kathleen Clyde and Frank LaRose
Kathleen Clyde and Frank LaRose

With Republicans holding two-thirds of secretary of state offices including Ohio, Democrats are focusing renewed attention and money on a statewide post once considered a sleepy political stepping stone, acknowledging they’re playing catch-up with the GOP.

The Democratic Association of Secretaries of State has been motivated by what it considers efforts by some GOP secretaries to limit voter participation and unfairly pare voter rolls — allegations the GOP denies. The organization plans to raise money and provide guidance to a handful of candidates in 2018, likely in populous states that could prove important in the 2020 presidential election.

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“We’re looking around to see where we have viable candidates and where the registration will be favorable, probably in swing states, places where until recently they did have a Democratic secretary of state, where legislation has been passed that would be what we consider oppressive,” said Denise Merrill, the Connecticut secretary of state and the chairwoman of the Democratic secretaries of state association.

The Democrats will start out relatively small in this year’s election, hoping to amass about $1 million, Merrill said. The association is considering targeting races in Ohio, Michigan, New Mexico and other states with open seats or Democrats seeking re-election.

Republicans, meanwhile, are looking to hold or win secretary of state seats in places like Iowa, Colorado, Nevada, Georgia, Arizona, Wisconsin and Alaska.

Republican and Democratic secretaries alike have voiced concerns about Russian influence on the 2016 elections and demands for voter information from Republican President Donald Trump’s now-disbanded election fraud commission. But a battle has developed in some states over voter fraud, voter identification requirements and purging of voter rolls.

Secretaries of state, which function as a state’s top election official, burst into public consciousness on a grand scale when the disputed 2000 presidential election between George W. Bush and Al Gore orbited around Florida’s Katherine Harris.

“People woke up and realized that there’s a lot of power in the secretary of state’s office, electoral power,” said Merrill, who has been traveling the country to raise money from donors, including wealthy Democrats and labor unions. She credited Republicans with making a targeted approach about a decade ago, pumping millions of dollars into secretary of state races in key states.

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“It made a huge difference, and suddenly there was a swing of 10 seats in 2010 alone,” Merrill said. “It happened fairly quickly. But I think it can be reversed to some extent, because we are now paying attention.”

Ohio is pivotal

Depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules, the next secretary of state in Ohio, always pivotal in presidential elections, could decide whether to continue pruning voter rolls by targeting people who haven’t voted in a while.

State Rep. Kathleen Clyde, the Democratic secretary of state candidate here, is running for an open seat against Republican state Sen. Frank LaRose. If the Supreme Court upholds pruning, which proponents argue is needed to prevent fraud, Clyde has vowed to stop it, maintaining voters’ names have been illegally removed.

She has already been endorsed by national groups such as Emily’s List, which works to elect Democratic women. She predicts it will be a multimillion-dollar race that attracts a lot of outside money.

Big money

The Republican State Leadership Committee, which focuses on state races and oversees the Republican Secretaries of State Committee, spent nearly $30 million in 2010 on state races, including secretaries of state, records show.

A “battle of ideologies” has been happening for a while concerning the integrity of elections, said Matt Walter, president of the Republican State Leadership Committee.

There has been “a concerted effort by liberal and progressive interests to have a dialogue about election procedures,” he said, mentioning groups like iVote.

On its website, iVote said it first “went on offense by working to elect pro-voting secretaries of state in key battleground states” in 2014, noting it supports candidates that “encourage participation by expanding access for eligible voters.”

But accusations that Republican secretaries of state are trying to suppress voter turnout, especially among minority groups, to ultimately benefit GOP candidates “sound like the crocodile tears of people who failed to run good candidate who had good visions for their states,” Walter said.

He insisted GOP candidates want to make it “easier to vote and harder to cheat” by taking steps such as removing outdated information from voter lists.

“When you clean those things up,” he said, “you remove the possibility for people who are attempting to intrude into the voting process, and you also remove innocent errors.”

By SUSAN HAIGH, Associated Press

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Mike Turner wants groomsman, fellow congressman deposed in divorce hearings

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 10:43 PM
Updated: Tuesday, February 13, 2018 @ 12:16 PM

U.S. Rep. Mike Turner files for divorce

Dayton Congressman Mike Turner wants California Congressman Darrell Issa deposed in his divorce proceedings, according to POLITICO.

Turner filed for divorce from his wife Majida Mourad after a year and a half of marriage.

Issa was a groomsman at the wedding in Dayton in 2015.

POLITICO says Turner gave Issa a letter in the Capitol last week asking him to give a deposition, according to unnamed sources.

We have reached out to Congressman Turner’s office for a response.

YOU CAN READ THE FULL POLITICO STORY HERE

Mourad’s attorney, Sanford Ain, said in a statement to POLITICO Monday that Turner “may have” told “third parties” that she was unfaithful, “thinking it would advantage him in the divorce.” But any claim of infidelity by Mourad “has no basis in fact,” Ain said.

Darrell Issa and Mike Turner. Ap Photo by J Scott Applewhite

“Because it has been raised, Ms. Mourad was never unfaithful to Congressman Turner during the marriage, before or after Congressman Turner filed for divorce. Any allegation of her being unfaithful to Congressman Turner is simply false and defamatory,” Ain said.

POLITICO reports that Mourad and Issa have been friends for 20 years, but there is nothing more to their relationship, according a a source close to Mourad.

“There is no truth whatsoever to these allegations,” Issa said in a statement.

RELATED: 5 things to know about Congressman Mike Turner’s soon-to-be-ex-wife

Turner filed for divorce in May and asked that Mourad be restrained from taking any of their assets, according to a divorce filing made in the Montgomery County Court of Common Pleas.

Congressman Mike Turner(Associated Press)

RELATED: Turner says fiancee’s business dealings pose no conflict

“Ms. Turner is guilty of a fraudulent contract,” according to the filing, which does not elaborate on what that means.

Mourad was a registered lobbyist for the liquid natural gas export company Cheniere Energy Inc.

RELATED: Mike Turner files for divorce

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Gov. Kasich orders flags at half-staff to honor slain officers

Published: Monday, February 12, 2018 @ 9:36 AM

Ohio’s governor on Monday ordered flags flown at half-staff around the state to honor two police officers killed over the weekend in suburban Columbus.
The order from Republican Gov. John Kasich applies to flags at public properties and will be in place until the officers are interred.
The order came hours before police in suburban Westerville were slated to escort the bodies of 39-year-old Eric Joering and 54-year-old Anthony Morelli from a coroner’s office to separate funeral homes. Officials invited the public to line the route.
Westerville police haven’t announced funeral details.
The officers were shot Saturday while responding to a 911 hang-up call at a townhome where the 30-year-old suspect was wounded.
Officials said Sunday that suspect Quentin Smith was hospitalized in stable condition and expected to survive.
He’s charged with aggravated murder. Municipal court records didn’t show an attorney for him.
Smith was sentenced to three years in prison in 2009 on a burglary conviction with an added enhancement of having a gun. He left prison in 2011 and was released from parole, called community control in Ohio, in November 2013, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction.

-Associated Press

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