The Daily Brew: 11 candidates running for Republican nomination in OH-15

Welcome to the Thursday, July 29, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Voters to decide special Republican primary in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District on Aug. 3
  2. Redistricting review: New Jersey Republicans request clarification from secretary of state about how to count incarcerated individuals
  3. Georgia voters to decide in 2022 on suspending pay for indicted officials

Voters to decide special Republican primary in Ohio’s 15th Congressional District on Aug. 3

Let’s continue our previews of next week’s highlighted elections with a look at the Republican primary in the special election for Ohio’s 15th Congressional District.

Eleven candidates are running for the Republican nomination for the district located in the central part of the state. Former incumbent Rep. Steve Stivers (R) resigned to become the President and CEO of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce effective May 16. Stivers won re-election in 2020 by nearly 27 points. 

The general election is rated as Strong Republican by Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales. Mike Carey, Ruth Edmonds, Jeff LaRe, and Bob Peterson have led in endorsements and media attention.

Carey’s campaign has focused on his experience in the military where he served in the U.S. Army National Guard from 1989 to 1999, and he has described himself as a conservative outsider. Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed him.

Edmonds’ campaign has focused on her experience as a former president of the Columbus NAACP and work on conservative campaigns, as well as her background as an ordained minister. The Right Women PAC endorsed her.

LaRe’s campaign has focused on his background in law enforcement and security services, as well as his experience serving in the Ohio House of Representatives, where he assumed office in 2019. Stivers endorsed him.

Also running in the primary are John Adams, Eric M. Clark, Thad Cooperridder, Ron Hood, Tom Hwang, Stephanie Kunze, and Omar Tarazi.

Early voting began July 7 and continues through Aug. 2. Greg Betts and Allison Russo are competing in the Democratic primary, and the winners of both primaries will meet in the Nov. 2 special election. Following the November election, seven special elections to the 117th Congress will have been held.

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Redistricting review: New Jersey Republicans request clarification from secretary of state about how to count incarcerated individuals

With the release of the results of the 2020 U.S. Census, redistricting work has continued in the states. Here’s an update from New Jersey’s redistricting process.

New Jersey: On July 26, the New Jersey Globe reported that the Republican leaders of New Jersey’s redistricting commissions had submitted a request to Secretary of State Tahesha Way (D) for clarification on how incarcerated individuals in the state should be counted in the reapportionment and redistricting processes. Under S758, passed in 2020, New Jersey must count incarcerated individuals at their last known residential address for the purposes of legislative redistricting, rather than the location of their incarceration at the time of the census. Additionally, A698, which currently awaits action from Gov. Phil Murphy (D), would expand that requirement to redistricting for municipal, county, school board, and congressional purposes.

Under S758 and A698, the secretary of state must submit an apportionment report based on numbers from the New Jersey Department of Corrections (DOC). Legislative Apportionment Commission Republican Chairman Al Barlas and Congressional Redistricting Commission GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt said in their request to Way that the U.S. Census Bureau’s use of differential privacy in the 2020 census would produce data inconsistent with DOC data because “this statistical technique deliberately manipulates census data to assertedly protect the confidentiality of respondents by introducing ‘statistical noise; into both population totals and demographic characteristics.” “Barlas and Steinhardt asked whether there was a plan for “addressing the consequences of differential privacy with regard to New Jersey’s prison populations [and] … how will discrepancies between census and DOC data be rectified.”

Barlas and Steinhardt requested that Way respond by Aug. 2.

Public hearings: Public redistricting hearings have been scheduled in Indiana, South Carolina, Washington, and Virginia

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Georgia voters to decide in 2022 on suspending pay for indicted officials

The 2022 statewide ballot measure landscape is coming into focus. Thus far, 56 have been certified for the ballot. In 2020, 129 appeared on statewide ballots. That number was 167 in 2018. 

Here’s an overview of one set for next year’s November election in Georgia. 

Voters will decide whether to amend the state constitution to suspend compensation for members of the General Assembly and most state executive officials while suspended from office due to a felony indictment.

The measure was proposed in the state legislature shortly after the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported in late January that Georgia Insurance Commissioner Jim Beck (R) had been receiving pay and benefits since being indicted for federal wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering charges in May 2019.

On July 22, a jury found Beck guilty on 37 counts of fraud, including mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering, and tax fraud. 

Beck was elected to the office on Nov. 6, 2018, and was suspended from the office by Governor Brian Kemp (R) on May 16, 2019. 

Because Beck was suspended and did not resign, the state had been compensating him as well as John King, Kemp’s appointment to fill the position during Beck’s suspension.

Following the verdict, insurance commissioner John King said, “The state of Georgia is no longer paying for two commissioners. We took him off the payroll within hours of the jury coming back.”

Beck was placed on house arrest until sentencing, which was set for Oct. 8.

Currently, under the state’s constitution, assembly members and public officials who are suspended from office due to the indictment for a felony still receive compensation until they are convicted. Officials that are reinstated to their position would receive pay that was withheld under the amendment.

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