Many politicians in Sandusky and across the state are looking over the horizon to 2010.
And in fact, the four Erie County office holders who come up for re-election next year — Bill Monaghan, Tom Paul, Roger Binette and Tygh Tone — all say they plan to seek new terms in 2010.
Many state and local elections have already begun to take shape, from statewide races for the U.S. Senate to more local races for seats in the Ohio General Assembly. As a result, Ohio is filled with politicians who already have been running for office for months or are at least thinking ahead.
Here’s a look at some of the races.
ERIE COUNTY: Four offices come up for re-election next year: Erie County Commissioner Bill Monaghan, a Democrat; Tom Paul, a Democrat; Common Pleas Judge Tygh Tone, a Democrat, and Common Pleas Judge Roger Binette, a Republican.
All four said they plan to see a new term. None have an announced opponent so far.
Matt Old, the chairman of the Erie County Republican Party, said he has candidates looking at Monaghan’s and Paul’s jobs but said he can’t announce any names yet.
Democrat Dennis Murray Jr., D-Sandusky, who represents Erie and Ottawa counties in District 80, plans to seek a second term. Republican Jeff Krabill, a Sandusky businessman and school board member, already has announced he’s running, too, and already has a Web site.
State Rep. Terry Boose, R-Norwalk, whose 58th District, includes Huron County, plans to seek re-election. Former state Rep. Rex Damschroder, a Republican who runs an airport in Fremont, is running for the 81st district, which includes portions of Seneca, Sandusky and Ottawa counties. The seat currently is held by another Republican, Jeff Wagner, who must leave because of term limits.
GOVERNOR: Look for a matchup between the incumbent Democrat, Ted Strickland, and Republican John Kasich, a former congressman who has been campaigning for several months.
U.S. SENATE: Beating an incumbent senator is usually a difficult task. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown did it in 2006 when he ousted Mike DeWine. In general, though, politicians prefer to run for an open seat.
That’s what they’ll be doing in 2010, when Sen. George Voinovich is retiring. Democrats face a choice between Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher and Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, who both seem to enjoy a strong following.
Republican hopefuls include Rob Portman, a former Congressman and Bush administration figure, and Tom Ganley, who owns car dealerships in the Cleveland area. Portman is considered the front runner, judging from the barrage of press releases that the Ohio Democratic Party has been sending out.
U.S. HOUSE: Incumbents Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, who represents Erie and Ottawa counties, and Bob Latta, R-Bowling Green, whose district includes Huron County, are expected to run again. Both would be heavy favorites..
ATTORNEY GENERAL: Richard Cordray, the Democratic attorney general, is expected to seek re-election. Two Republicans are vying for the nomination to oppose him: Mike DeWine, a former U.S. senator, and Dave Yost, county prosecutor in Delaware County.
SECRETARY OF STATE: With Jennifer Brunner running for the Senate, a vacancy is opening up. Democratic state Rep. Jennifer Garrison is running. So is Republican Jon Husted, a member of the Ohio Senate.
TREASURER: Kevin Boyce, a Democrat appointed to the job after Richard Cordray changed jobs, is seeking a full term. The Republican candidate so far is state Rep. Josh Mandel of Lyndhurst.
AUDITOR: Mary Taylor, the Republican incumbent, is planning to seek re-election. Hamilton County Commissioner David Pepper, a Democrat, plans to run for the office.