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Friday, March 23, 2007

2008 GOP Ohio Senate Primary: Seitz vs. Clancy May Be Coming

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Tiny story in this morning's Enquirer with big political news that shows how term limits are changing politics. State Rep. Bill Seitz appears to be making plans to run for an Ohio Senate seat now held by Patty Clancy. Both are Republicans. But Seitz must find another job if he wants to stay in the Statehouse because he is term-limited out of office in 2008.

Clancy's 8th District seat covers a western chunk of Hamilton County, and she faces a run for re-election next year. She told the Enquirer she plans to stay in the Senate. Seitz indicates he intends to move up, and she is blocking his path. Collision ahead.

Seitz is a conservative and leader in the House. Outside Cincinnati, he may be best known as an advocate for opening the state to casino style gambling and slots.

The Enquirer squib is HERE. In a different era, Republicans didn't have primaries or try to chase each other out of office. But term limits have elected officials looking for new slots when they have to move on. State. Rep. Tom Brinkman is probably going to run for the OH-02 congressional seat now held by Rep. Jean Schmidt, which starts on the East Side of Cincy and head upstream on the Ohio River all the way to Portsmouth. Seitz is testing the water on the West Side. He is a PARTNER at Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP, one of the largest law firms in Ohio, and would have no problem raising money for a race against Clancy.

Inquiring minds are wondering: Will Clancy be squeezed out before the primary to make room for Seitz? He's a political bigfoot, and she does not quite match his legislative reputation. Over the years, however, the GOP has been dogged by concerns it is too much an old boys club that has been slow to welcome women into the ranks. Clancy's gender could become an issue if the notion that that Republicans are less than enthusiastic about supporting women candidates is fanned. Clancy, whose father was a congressman, would benefit and might even have the skills to turn events to her advantage if she is forced to become aggressive. Still, Seitz would probably have more money to spend on a primary.

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