OHIO VALLEY — Voters throughout the region go to the polls on Tuesday to vote on a range of local races and issues, as well as state and national candidates.
United States Senate
Ohio will be voting for one United State Senate seat, with voters to choose between Incumbent Democrat Sherrod Brown, Republican challenger Josh Mandel, and Independent Scott A. Rupert.
Brown is in his first term as Senator after serving seven terms as a U.S. Representative in Ohio’s 13th District. He also served as Ohio’s Secretary of State, a member of the Ohio General Assembly, and taught in Ohio’s public schools and at Ohio State University.
Brown currently serves on five senate committees — Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry, Appropriations, Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, Select Committee on Ethics, and Veterans Affairs.
Mandel is currently serving as Treasurer of the State of Ohio. The Marine Corps veteran has also served in the Ohio House of Representatives, representing the 17th District.
As treasurer, Mandel earned the highest possible rating from Standard & Poor’s and Fitch.
Rupert is an independent who describes himself as a common man, not a politician. He is a native of Sheffield Lake, Ohio.
United States Representative, 6th District
Two candidates are running for the 6th District House of Representatives seat, incumbent Republican Bill Johnson and Democrat Charlie Wilson.
The Sixth District is made up of 12 counties, including Meigs, Gallia, Mahoning, Columbiana, Jefferson, Belmont, Monroe, Noble, Washington, Athens, Lawrence and Scioto.
Johnson is in his first term as Congressman. The U.S. Air Force veteran defeated Wilson in 2010, setting up this years rematch between the two. Johnson currently serves on three House of Representatives committees — Natural Resources, Foreign Affairs and Veterans Affairs.
Wilson was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1996 and was elected to the Ohio Senate in 2004. Wilson was elected to congress in 2006 through a write-in campaign. While in congress, he served on the committee on science and technology.
Ohio Senate, 30th District
Meigs County voters will choose between incumbent Democrat Lou Gentile and Republican Shane Thompson for the 30th District State Senate seat.
The 30th District represents, Meigs, Athens, Vinton, Washington, Noble, Monroe, Belmont, Harrison, Jefferson and Carrol counties.
Gentile, a Steubenville native, began serving in the Ohio House of Representatives in 2010 and was appointed to the State Senate in 2011. Gentile serves on the following committees in the State Senate: Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources, Energy and Public Utilities, Financial Institutions, Government Oversight and Reform, Highways and Transportation, Ways and Means and Economic Development.
Thompson is a Belmont County native, is a vice president of a battery recycling company. According to other media reports, he was nominated by party leaders to fill the ballot spot left open by Laura Groux, who dropped out of the race earlier in the summer.
Ohio Senate, 17th District
Gallia County is located in Ohio’s 17th Senate District. The 17th District includes Gallia, Lawrence, Jackson, Vinton, Pike, Ross, Highland, Clinton, Fayette and Pickaway counties.
Incumbent Bob Peterson, a Republican, is running unopposed for the unexpired term which ends Dec. 31, 2014.
State Representative, 94th District
Meigs County voters will choose between two-term incumbent Debbie Phillips, a Democrat, and Republican Charles Richter in the 94th District House of Representatives race.
Phillips was elected to the House four years ago after serving as a member of Athens City Council. She was also the founding Executive Director of the Ohio Fair Schools Campaign. She is currently an member of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus Leadership team, serving as Assistant Minority Whip. Phillips sits on the agriculture and natural resources committee, the education committee, finance and appropriations committee, and rules and reference committee.
Richter holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, and has built a career in finance and management. He has worked as accounting manager for a large hotel chain and served as and accounting manager for Kenda USA.
State Representative, 93rd District
Gallia County voters will choose between Republican Incumbent Ryan Smith and Democratic challenger Josh Bailey for the 93rd District State Representative.
Smith was appointed to the House of Representatives in April of this year. Smith served on the Gallipolis City School Board of Education beginning in 2008. He has been a financial consultant, vice president and partner of Smith Financial Advisors of Hilliard Lyons since 2005. In the House, Smith serves on the education, health and aging, and financial institutions, housing and urban development committees.
Bailey was nominated by the Democratic Party to replace Luke Scott on the ballot for the 93rd District seat. Bailey is a local businessman in Jackson County. He received his degree in political science from Ohio University earlier this year.
Ohio Supreme Court (three seats)
Three seats on the Ohio Supreme Court will be selected by voters across the state.
Incumbent Terrence O’Donnell, a Republican, is up for re-election and is being challenged by Democrat Mike Skindell for the term beginning on Jan. 1. 2013.
O’Donnell joined the Supreme Court of Ohio in 2003. He began his career as a judge in 1980 as a Judge of the Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. He also served on the Eighth District Court of Appeals.
Skindell was a State Representative in the 23rd District from 2003-10 and a former Lakewood Council Member. He began private practice as a lawyer in 1999.
Robert R. Cupp, a Republican, is facing William M. O’Neill, a Democrat, in his bid for re-election in a term beginning on Jan. 2, 2013.
Cupp has served on the Ohio Supreme Court since 2007. Prior to that his election to the Supreme Court he served on the Third District Court of Appeals.
O’Neill served on the 11th District Court of Appeals from 1997-2007. He is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army.
Running for an unexpired term, which ends Dec. 31, 2014, are incumbent Yvette McGee Brown, a Democrat, and Sharon L. Kennedy, a Republican.
Brown was appointed to her seat on the bench by then-Gov. Ted Strickland. She has served on the court since Jan. 2011. Prior to her appointment, she was the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations and Juvenile division judge. She was first elected to the position in 1992.
Kennedy currently serves as a domestic relations judge in Butler County. She served as a city police officer prior to becoming a private practice attorney. She became a judge in Butler County in 1998.
Fourth District Court of Appeals (two seats)
Two seats are open for the Fourth District Court of Appeals. Both Gallia and Meigs voters will choose between Marie Hoover and Leonard F. Holzapfel for the term beginning on Feb. 9, 2013. William H. Harsha is running unopposed for the term beginning Feb. 10, 2013, a seat he currently holds.
The fourth district includes Athens, Hocking, Meigs, Vinton, Jackson, Washington, Ross, Scioto, Pickaway, Pike, Lawrence, Highland, Gallia and Adams counties.
Hoover, the Democratic candidate, is a Portsmouth based attorney with the Hoover Law Group. She has also served as magistrate in Portsmouth since February.
Holzapfel, the Republican candidate, is currently judge of the Jackson County Common Pleas Court. Holzapfel has served as Common Pleas Judge since 1992, having been re-elected three times.
Harsha was first elected to the court of appeals in 1989, and has served by appointment on the Ohio Supreme Court.