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Two highly competitive Democratic contests for Ohio House seats in Hamilton County dominated the Aug. 2 low-turnout election in Southwest Ohio, heading toward the 2022 midterm elections on Tuesday, Nov. 8. In-person early voting for the midterm elections will begin at the Board of Elections office about four weeks before Election Day.

This mid-term primary was an election that broke records for low-turnout, with turnout in Hamilton County just at 8.3%, but the highest of the four Southwest Ohio counties.

On the Democratic side, in Ohio’s 24th Ohio House District, which includes much of the city of Cincinnati, a lawyer and community activist, Dani Isaacsohn, had a win over former State Representative Dale Mallory.

Pediatric nurse Rachel Baker, an unsuccessful candidate for Forest Hills school board last fall, defeated former Cincinnati mayoral candidate Gavi Begtrup in Ohio’s 27th District, made up of eastern Hamilton County.

On the GOP side, political newcomer Jenn Giroux, won easily in a three-way race, followed by Joe Murray and Lindsay Cole.

In northern Hamilton County, former county commissioner Chris Monzel, who will have a rematch with Democratic state representative Jessica Miranda, defeated challenger Kim Georgeton in the 28th District.

State Sen. Bill Seitz, who was term-limited out of his current seat, ran in the 30th Ohio House District, winning with 82% of the vote.

According to veteran political reporter and Senior Political Reporter Howard Wilkinson of the WVXU News Team, this election happened because the Republicans who control the redistricting process in Ohio needed an end-run around the Ohio Supreme Court, which blocked their legislative maps at every turn. A four-member majority of the state court rejected no less than four GOP plans for new state legislative districts, saying they were unconstitutional.

Statehouse Republicans found a group of Ohio GOP voters — headed by Mike Gonidakis, the president of Ohio Right to Life — who filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court here asking the court to essentially take over the state legislative redistricting process.

They ended up with a friendly three-judge panel to hear their case — two of the judges were Trump appointees.

That panel, Wilkinson writes, sided with the plaintiffs, Gonidakis et al, and set an election date of Aug. 2, which Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose (a member of the redistricting commission) argued was the latest date on which a primary could be held without bumping up against the official election calendar of the November election.

The three-judge panel also ruled the state legislative districts to be used for the August primary would be ones which had previously been ruled unconstitutional by the Ohio Supreme Court, not once but twice.

That means Ohio voters go to the polls in both August and November to vote in state and congressional legislative races using maps declared unconstitutional by Ohio’s highest court.

Other Primary Election results in Hamilton County are:

Democrats: David Dallas ran unopposed for state senator in the 7th District; State Representative Catherine Ingram ran unopposed for state senator in the 9th District; State Senator Cecil Thomas ran unopposed for state representative in the 25th District; State Representative Sedrick Denson ran unopposed in the 26th District; Jessica Miranda ran unopposed for state representative in the28th District; Juan Valle ran unopposed for state representative in the 29th District; Alissa Mayhems ran unopposed for state representative in the 30th District;

In the Republican Primary, Steve Wilson defeated Austin Kaiser for state representative; Orlando Sonza Jr. ran unopposed for state senator; Adam Paul Koehler ran unopposed for state representative in the 24th District; John Breadon ran unopposed for state representative in the 25th District;

Jenn Giroux defeated Joe Murray and Lindsey Cole for state representative in the 27th District; and Chris Monzel defeated Kim Georgeton for state representative in the 28th District; Cindy Abrams ran unopposed for state representative in the 29th District; and Bill Seitz defeated Angela Hymer for state representative in the 30th District.

All 435 U.S. House seats and 34 of the 100 Senate seats are on the November ballot.

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