State Rep. Bob Latta (R), who lost a Republican Congressional primary 19 years ago to the late Rep. Paul Gillmor (R) by just 27 votes, appears to be the early frontrunner to replace Gillmor — at least according to a poll released this week by Latta’s campaign.
In the poll of possible contenders in the Nov. 6 special Republican primary to succeed Gillmor, who died on Sept. 5, Latta led handily in a three-way race with state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann and state Sen. Steve Buehrer, and in a four-way race that added former state Rep. Rex Damschroder.
In the three-way race, it was Latta with 34 percent, followed by Wachtmann with 20 percent and Buehrer with 17 percent. In the hypothetical four-way primary, Latta got 30 percent, Wachtmann 18 percent, Buehrer 14 percent and Damschroder 12 percent.
The poll of 300 likely Republican primary voters was conducted by Public Opinion Strategies Sept. 16-17 and had a 6.2 point error margin.
“Starting from where he is as the undisputed frontrunner, if Bob Latta can raise the necessary resources to communicate his conservative message to these GOP voters, he would have a significant edge in this race,” pollster Neil Newhouse wrote.
The Republican primary is almost certain to produce the next Member from the Northwest Ohio district in the Dec. 11 special general election.
— Josh Kurtz