Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio), the second-most senior Republican in the House, confirmed Friday that he would not seek a 19th term in 2008.
“I have several goals that I would like to achieve following my service in Congress, and I believe that now is the time to begin these new opportunities,” the 82-year-old Congressman said in a statement.
Regula’s decision throws his Northeast Ohio district squarely into the highly competitive category. Democrats already are sky-high on their leading candidate, state Sen. John Boccieri, and Republicans could face a multicandidate — and potentially bloody — primary.
Ashland County Commissioner Matt Miller, who finished just 9,000 votes behind Regula in last year’s Republican primary, already was running again, and state Sen. Kirk Schuring (R) had formed an exploratory committee and must be considered a likely candidate. Other potential GOP contenders include state Sen. Ron Amstutz and state Rep. Scott Oelslager.
— Josh Kurtz