Decade-high number of incumbents in contested state legislative primaries in Ohio

Twenty-five Ohio state legislative incumbents face primary challenges, representing 29% of all incumbents running for re-election. This is the highest number and percentage of contested incumbents since at least 2014. 

Of the 25 incumbents in contested primaries, four are Democrats and 21 are Republicans.

Ohio has 51 contested state legislative primaries this year, a 9% increase from 2022.

Of the 51 contested primaries, there are 19 for Democrats and 32 for Republicans. For Democrats, this is the same as in 2022. For Republicans, the number is up 14% from 28 in 2022.

Overall, 286 major party candidates — 138 Democrats and 148 Republicans — filed to run. All 99 House and 16 of 33 Senate seats are up for election.

Twenty-eight of those seats are open, meaning no incumbents filed. This guarantees that at least 24% of the seats up for election will be represented by newcomers next year.

Ohio has had a Republican trifecta since the party won control of the governorship and House in 2010. Republicans currently have a 66-32 (with one vacancy) majority in the House and a 26-7 majority in the Senate.

Ohio’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for March 19, the second — along with Illinois — statewide primary date of the 2024 state legislative election cycle.

Additional reading:

Ohio State Senate elections, 2024

Ohio House of Representatives elections, 2024