State Rep. Robert Sprague is giving up his Ohio House seat to run for state treasurer, but he won’t be coasting into the state job.
The Findlay Republican faces competition in the May 8 primary election, and if he wins there, a Democratic opponent will await in November.
The filing deadline for candidates was Wednesday.
Sprague announced last March that he would run for the state treasurer’s post. He has served in the Ohio House since 2011, representing the 83rd House District.
In May, he will be competing in Ohio’s Republican primary with Sandra O’Brien. The winner will advance to the November general election.
Sprague is bidding to be the first Hancock County resident to hold a statewide elective office. Before getting into state politics, he was Findlay city auditor and treasurer. Before that, Sprague was a management consultant with Ernst & Young in Atlanta, Georgia, and later owned and operated his own consulting firm.
O’Brien is a former teacher who served as Ashtabula County auditor for 12 years. She ran for state treasurer in 2006, defeating the incumbent treasurer, Jennette Bradley, in the Republican primary.
But in the general election that year, O’Brien lost to Democrat Richard Cordray, who is now running for governor after serving as director of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
In 2010, O’Brien ran for secretary of state, but lost to Jon Husted, who is now a lieutenant governor candidate.
Two Democratic candidates will be competing in May for their party’s nomination to be state treasurer, with the winner advancing to the fall election.
Neil Patel of Westerville, a sales agent for New York Life, will square off with Rob Richardson, an attorney from Cincinnati.
Richardson is the former chairman of the board of trustees at the University of Cincinnati. Patel has run twice for the Ohio Senate.
The winner in the November general election will replace GOP Treasurer Josh Mandel, who was challenging Democratic U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, but then dropped out of the race.
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