I find that the Ohio Daily Blog, http://www.ohiodailyblog.com/content/list-2008-ohio-candidates
, to be an excellent resource for Ohio filings. The website is run by an activist Democrat but the information is comprehensive.
It looks like Ohio Democrats have a good shot at a number of House races and also at taking back the Ohio State Assembly.
At least three congressional seats (OH-02, OH-07, OH-16) held by the GOP are bound to have strongly contested and bloody GOP primaries that may be reprises of the nasty OH-05 contest, but Democrats may be in a better position to take advantage of GOP division than they were in the December OH-05 special. Meanwhile, Dennis Kucinich may be finally send packing by the lively primary field in OH-10.
U.S. house races:
OH-15 (open) Lean Democratic
Dem: Franklin County Commissioner, 2006 nominee Mary J. Kilroy
GOP: State Senator Steve Strivers
Senator Strivers has some competition in the primary, though he's the likely nominee. At this point Kilroy, who almost won against Pryce--a very strong moderate GOP incumbent--has to be considered the favorite, though she is certainly not a perfect candidate or campaigner and if she runs a lackluster campaign or slips up, she could let this seat get away again.
Dem: State Rep. Steve Driehaus
GOP: Rep. Steve Chabot
Most would probably consider this race a GOP-leaning contest but I think that Chabot is in trouble and will go out on a limb to call this race a toss-up.
Driehaus is a better candidate than 2006 nominee City Councilor John Cranley. He represents a GOP-leaning state house seat and though 2006 was one of the best years for Dems in the country and Ohio, that was not true in Hamilton County. Hamilton County is probably the only area of the state where the GOdP top-of-the-ticket gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell and Senator Mike DeWine held their own. A part of the problems for the Democrats here was the depressed African-American vote. In a presidential race, especially with Obama on top of the ticket, black turn out is bound to be significantly higher, enough to improve Democratic performance in the district and push Driehaus, who I expect to run a more vigorous campaign than Cranley, over the top.
Dem: State Sen. John Boccierri
Canton City Councilor and ex-state rep. Mary M. Cirelli
GOP: Ashland County Comissioner, 2006 primary challenger Matt Miller
State Sen. Kirk Schuring
Talk show host/marine veteran Paul Schiffer
Veteran and state Senator John Boccierri is the DCCC favorite for the race and he appears to be a formidable candidate who has built a solid start. Mary Cirelli's filing is a surprise and it seems that the party has already rallied behind Boccierri and that her chances are being dismissed http://www.ohio.com/news/13225712.html
. But Boccierri, who does not actually live in the district and actually represents very little of it in the state senate may be vulnerable to a carpet bagger charge in the primary and general.
The GOP side is bound to be interesting. Matt Miller is from the more conservative part of the district and is a younger and more engergetic candidate than Kirk Schuring, who, it has been rumored, has been having trouble fundraising. Miller may also get club for growth backing and by combining movement support with his Ashland County base, he will be a formidable primary opponent, especially since he racked up over 40% against Regula in the 2006 primary. I expect that Schuring, a Canton institution would be the bigger challenge for the Democrats in November but he may not make it through the primary.
I think the race is a complete toss-up as a Schuring-Boccierri race and leans Democratic if Miller is the GOP nominee.
Lean Incumbent Party Retention
OH-02 Lean GOP
Dem: 2006 Nominee Dr. Vic Wulsin
Ex-Indian Hill Mayor Steve Black
GOP: Rep. Jean Schmidt
Former Hamilton County Comissioner Phil Heimlich
State Rep. Tom Brinkman
Will Jean Schmidt be saved by virtue of two primary challengers again? She's very unpopular, even with GOPers but she may be able to hold on since she's facing two strong primary challengers dividing the anti-mean-Jean vote. State Rep. Tom Brinkman is a somewhat maverick ultra-conservative in the Tom Coburn mold and Phil Heimlich is also extremely conservative. Since this is a very GOP district, that may not be a hindrance for any of the candidates.
That said, I believe ex-Indian Hill Mayor and ex-GOPer Steve Black would be formidable in the general election against any of the Repub licans. However, he will have a tough time beating '06 nominee Vic Wulsin who made a better-than-expected run in 2006 but whom I believe to be too liberal for the district. That said, if she's up against Jean Schmidt again, probably the most likely result at this time, I expect the contest to be close and, perhaps, to go the other way if Mean Jean again pulls out the trusty shovel to dig her political grave.
OH-14 Lean GOP
Dem: Former State Appelate Judge William O'Neill
GOP: Rep. Steve LaTourette
I have been repeatedly astounded by LaTourette's large victories in this extremely marginal district. But a part of that is the result of his lackluster opponents in the last two contests. It looks like failed Supreme Court Justice candidate William O'Neill is determined to mount a vigorous challenge this year. I expect LaTourette to triumph but hopefully O'Neill can wear him down so that he can be redistricted out of his seat in 2012 without putting up much of a fight.
Dem: Rep. Zach Space
GOP: Former Ohio Dir. of Agriculture Fred Dailey
Common Pleas Court Staff Attorney Jeannette Moll
Former USAF Pilot Paul Phillips
Zach Space's primary win was a suprise in 2006. I found his big general election margin even more suprising and I expect the GOP will have a hard time unseating him in this district that, though GOP-leaning in many national elections is ancestrally Democratic. The GOP has a competitive primary and its not entirely clear to me what the dynamic will be or if there will be a strong ideological component. It seems, though that Fred Dailey would probably be most formidable and could get a better margin than State Sen Joy Padgett received in 2006.
Likely Incumbent Retention
OH-03 Likely GOP
Dem: 2004 candidate/dem activist Jane Mitakides
GOP: Rep. Michael Turner
Perhaps Mitakides will improve wil improve on her 2004 margin but I don't expect her to win or even to get all that close. I'm really disappointed Democrats aren't contesting this seat with a better candidate because I think its definitely winnable.
OH-07 (open) Likely GOP
Dem: Engineer, 2004 candidate William R. Conner
Businessman Dave Woolover
Attorney Sharen Neuhardt
GOP: State Sen. Steve Austria
ex-State Rep. Ron Hood
This seat seems fairly safe for the GOP at this point. However, if the stars align, I can see a scenario where Dems can seriously contest the district and even win. Steve Austria is the establishment anointed successor to retiring Rep. Hobson. However, Hobson is definitely a moderate and Austria may be too moderate for GOP primary voters. And now it looks like he's going to face a serious right-wing and possibly CFG-backed primary challenge in ex-state Rep. Ron Hood. It seems to me that CFG attacks may stick more to Austria than they did to Latta in OH-05 and if Hood wins the GOP primary, there is an opening for Democrats. The only Democrat, though, that I can see seriously contesting this seat is Sharen Neuhardt, who just recently filed, and is a well-respected attorney in the Dayton area, living in Greene County.
Dem: Rep. Dennis Kucinich
Teacher/Journalist, anti-war activist Rosemary Palmer
Anti-war activist Barbara Ann Ferris
Cleveland City Councilor Joe Cimperman
North Olmstead Mayor Thomas O'Grady
GOP: Real Estate Investor Jason Werner
Ex-state rep. Jim Trakas
The Democratic primary is where the action is here. I think Kucinich may be in big trouble. His only boon is that like Rep. Schmidt, Dennis has a slew of primary opponents who may divide the anti-munchkin vote. Rosemary Palmer seems to have been doing reasonably well in fundraising and is mounting a strong insurgent campaign attacking Kucinich from the left for some of his odd votes against Democratic proposals and for his never-ending presidential ambitions. Cleveland City Councilor, meanwhile, has recently joined the race and has raised some big bucks for the contest. He definitely has a more centrist image than the congressman, but it remains to be seen how that will endear him to primary voters. If a damaged Kucinich survives, I can see him becoming vulnerable to a challenge from an experienced politician like ex-state Rep. Jim Trakas.
Dem: Russ Goodwin
GOP: Rep. Patrick Tibieri
Extremely competitive district. Extraordinarily disappointing Democratic challengers.
Safe for Incumbent Party:
OH-04 Safe GOP
Rep. Jim Jordan
OH-05 Safe GOP
Rep. Bob Latta
OH-06 Safe Dem
Rep. Charlie Wilson
OH-08 Safe GOP
Rep. John Boehner
OH-09 Safe Dem
Rep. Marcy Kaptur
OH-11 Safe Dem
Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones
OH-13 Safe Dem
Rep. Betty Sutton
OH-17 Safe Dem
Rep. Tim Ryan