29 Republican primaries for the Ohio House of Representatives amid conflict over state speaker

There are 29 Republican primaries for the Ohio House of Representatives on March 19, 2024. An incumbent is running in 19 of those primaries.

The 2024 elections are taking place in the context of a conflict within the House Republican caucus over the election of a speaker. After Republicans won a 67-32 margin in the 2022 elections, 22 Republicans joined with all 32 Democrats to elect Jason Stephens (R) speaker over the winner of the Republican caucus’ internal vote, Derek Merrin (R). The Ohio Republican Party’s central committee voted to censure all 22 House Republicans who voted for Stephens following his election.

The 2024 legislative elections have 29 contested Republican primaries, the most in any year since 2018. Nineteen incumbents—more than one-third of those seeking re-election—face primary challengers compared to 12 in 2018. This is the highest rate at which incumbent Ohio House Republicans have faced primary challenges since at least 2012.

In the five election cycles between 2014 and 2022, 13.7% of Ohio House Republicans facing contested primaries lost re-election. The highest rate of incumbent losses was 16.7% in 2020 and 2016 while the lowest was 8.3% in 2018.

Ohio is one of 23 states with a Republican trifecta. A state government trifecta is a term used to describe a single-party government where one political party holds the governor’s office and a majority in both chambers of the state legislature.