Wife will run as ‘placeholder’

Filing error forces Ohio representative to find other way keep House seat
Tom Jackson
Feb 21, 2014
State Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, says he’s found a way to keep his political career alive: Getting his wife to run for his Ohio House seat.

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.



Guess it would be the same reason a man would want to marry another man.

John Harville


John Harville

No one can explain Rhonda.
Rex has ridden this pony hard more than 40 years.
While politically being opposed to unions, he has spent his entire marriage reaping the benefits of Rhonda's UNION-NEGOTIATED salary and cadillace health care benefits.
Considering BEFORE the 2010 election she retired and would have set up her healthcare IN JULY before the November election, it's logical to assume she kept Rex on her insurance on the outside chance Ben Nutter won the election.
Thus it's likely HER union-negotiated pension plan paid for his multiple bypass surgery after his election.
Rex has had failed businesses but always had Rhonda's sizeable salary and later pension from Fremont Schools to provide the consistent family income.
Now, she enjoys his state salary as well as her pension.
And let's remember, teachers who stood so much to lose still voted for Kasich. Go figure.

John Harville

Perhaps Rhonda is beguiled... how else does one explain her willingness possibly to put herself at risk of criminal charges for filing a false Declaration of Candidacy.
It IS FALSE because she states on the form she desires to run for the office which is FALSE by published statements. "WHOEVER COMMITS ELECTION FALSIFICATION IS GUILTY OF A FELONY OF THE FIFTH DEGREE"
She's been supporting him financially for 40 years...


Unfortunately in the 88th District many teachers are Republicans and blindly vote for their party, even though much legislation is detrimental to teachers and the children they teach every day.
The Damschroder family has greatly benefitted from union negotiated benefits because of her job as a teacher. So it is surprising that Rex is at the forefront of trying to bring the Right to Work movement to Ohio, which would curb the influence of unions. How can he go to tea party events bashing unions while he enjoys the benefits that his wife received because of union negotiators?


Mr. Redfern is talking out of both sides of his mouth, saying elect a loophole. Both parties are doing this as they are both running write in candidates.

John Harville

Running a write-in candidate is provided in ORC 3513.014. Perhaps Damschroder opened the door when he and Rhonda demonstrated - in the media - how dishonest they are willing to be.
Remember, these are the same Damschroders who never hand out Halloween treats - except in 2010 - when they gave children campaign literature.

John Harville

Damschroder is on Jerry Anderson's "Leading Edge" show 8:30 a.m. today, Sunday, if you can get WTOL 11.

John Harville

"Whoever commits election falsification is guilty of a felony of the fifth degree" - just below the line where Rhonda Damschroder signed the Declaration of Candidacy "I hereby declare that I desire to be a candidate for nomination to the office State Representative"

John Harville

Rhonda has competition...

From Tiffin Advertiser-Tribune... in case SR wants the story.

"February 22, 2014

The Advertiser-Tribune

Seneca County Board of Elections released the candidates and issues on the ballot for the primary election May 6.

Bill Reineke and Rhonda Damschroder have filed to be write-in candidates for the 88th House District, according to the Sandusky County Board of Elections."

Hopefully the Dems will have one.

After Wed Reineke may be ONLY Republican

Julie R.

Wouldn't this be similar to the election scam that the FEDS uncovered in corrupt Cuyahoga County when somebody, in exchange for $20K and then a cushy $67,000.00 a year job in the auditor's office, ran against Frank Russo in the auditor race and then dropped out when it was too late for the Republicans to find a new candidate?