Damschroder, who represents Sandusky County and most of Seneca County as the House District 88 lawmaker, made a mistake when he filed his declaration of candidacy to seek another term. He signed the document only seven times instead of the required eight times.
As a result, he withdrew his candidacy and has been searching for a way to salvage his campaign. The search was hampered when his lawyers told him he couldn’t run, instead, as a write-in candidate.
On Thursday, he announced he found a way.
His wife, retired teacher Rhonda Damschroder, will file this afternoon, ahead of the Monday deadline, to run as a write-in candidate in the Republican Party primary.
If she wins, she plans to resign, allowing the Republican parties in Sandusky and Seneca counties to appoint her husband as the substitute candidate for the general election.
“I don’t want anybody to think that we’re trying to do anything illegal,” Damschroder said. “This is the only practical and legal way to accomplish our goal”
The chairmen of the Republican parties in the two counties are on board with the effort, he said.
Damschroder said when he spoke to his wife and asked her to run as a placeholder candidate, she asked, “I won’t have to do any speeches, will I?”
“I told her I’d take care of that” he said.
Although Damschroder’s scheme is complicated, it appears to be the only legal way for him to run at this point, said state Rep. Chris Redfern, D-Catawba Island, chairman of the Ohio Democratic Party.
“We’re confident a Democrat will file as a write-in candidate as well,” Redfern said. That will allow voters in the district to choose between “electing a loophole, or someone who will represent their interests,” he said.
Damschroder said he takes responsibility for the error that has forced him to attempt his unusual method of winning re-election.
“The voters of Sandusky and Seneca County have given me the privilege of representing them. Today, I apologize for my error and humbly ask for your support once again to continue serving as your state representative” he said.