Ohio: Local Chairman Joins Race for Hobson Seat

Posted December 12, 2007 at 6:05pm

Clark County Republican Chairman Daniel Harkins announced this week that he will run in the 7th district seat being vacated by retiring Rep. David Hobson (R). Harkins said he plans to make a formal announcement in the first week of of 2008.

State Sen. Steve Austria (R) had already announced his bid for the seat and said he is running with Hobson’s and the rest of the Ohio GOP Congressional delegation’s support. Austria holds Hobson’s former state Senate district and the two men have been friends for more than two and a half decades.

Austria said he’s known Harkins for a much shorter time period, about seven or eight years. Harkins, whose candidacy was first reported by local news outlets, said he has headed up the county Republican Party for 10 years.

“I’m not surprised by Dan’s decision to run,” Austria said. “Dan Harkins is an attorney who makes his own decisions and has his own reasons for doing what he’s doing. What I will say is we’re not taking anything for granted in this campaign.”

2006 Democratic nominee Bill Conner and businessman Dave Woolever are running for the Democratic nod in the Republican-leaning district.

Hobson received 61 percent of the vote against Conner in 2006, and Republicans are expected to hold his Columbus-area district.

— Shira Toeplitz