OH-92: Phillips (D) In; Thompson (R) Likely Opponent
This interesting article in the Athens News indicates that city council member Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) will indeed renew her bid for the 92nd Ohio House District seat, being vacated by State Rep. Jimmy Stewart (R-Albany) in order to run for the 20th Ohio Senate seat of retiring State Sen. Joy Padgett (R-Coshocton). Phillips is quoted as saying that she will make a formal announcement in the company of Gov. Ted Strickland (D) in the next few weeks.
The article also reveals that Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson (R) will probably oppose Phillips for the open House seat. Stewart indicates that he will support Thompson if she runs.
Susan Gwinn, chair of the Athens County Democratic Party, comments in the article that Stewart may not be sufficiently conservative to attract wide Republican support in the 20th Ohio Senate District. The conservative blogger Brian at "One Oar in the Water" concurs, noting that Stewart received a lifetime rating of only 40 from the United Conservatives of Ohio, compared to 80 for Padgett. As Gwinn notes, Republicans sometimes stay away from the polls when they perceive a candidate as being too liberal, thus opening the door for a Democratic opponent to carry the day.
Gwinn says that a number of Democrats have talked to her about running for the 20th Senate District seat, but she is not revealing out any names at this point.