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Ohio – 18th District

Democrat Candidate Funds On Hand Recent Poll Zack Space $206,000 Not available Republican Joy Padgett Not available Not available

Facing increasing likelihood of an indictment in the Abramoff scandal, Rep. Bob Ney withdrew his name from the ballot last month. Up until his withdrawal, he was running even with or behind Democrat Zack Space. Thanks in no small part to Ney’s trouble, it’s been a tough year for Republicans in Ohio. The situation in the 18th is the kind of electoral circus that creates opportunities for takeovers. The Cook Political Report ranks this race a “Toss-Up.” The District This mostly rural and small-town district sits in the center of southeast Ohio. In August, Ney’s withdrawal forced an unusual scramble to replace him. Joy Padgett, Ney’s chosen successor, faced a legal challenge due to her losing run Lt. Governor early in the year; her candidacy was approved despite the legal difficulties by her ticket-mate, Attorney General Jim Petro, in a development unlikely to fill voters with pride at GOP ethical standards. Finally, the local Republican establishment settled on a special primary. The winner will have less than two months to campaign against Space, who won the regular primary in May. The situation puts the GOP at a distinct disadvantage in this normally Republican-friendly district. About Zack Space A native of Dover, Space has won two terms as Law Director for the city. He has also served as an assistant to the Attorney General of Ohio as well as a private consumer-rights attorney. He is running on ethics reform, stem cell research, economic growth and an exit strategy in Iraq. About Joy Padgett One-term state Sen. Padgett is a close ally of the state’s GOP establishment; she was appointed to her seat in January of 2004 and held on to it in a highly negative campaign that fall. Previously, she was named director of the state’s Office of Appalachia by embattled Gov. Bob Taft. She has yet to begin campaigning in earnest, except for filing in the Sept. 14 special primary, where she is contending with five other candidates for the nomination. (no website available) Fundraising and Polling Space has brought in $459,000, 61% from individuals, and retains $206,000 on hand after a competitive primary. Padgett has not yet filed a federal fundraising report. The NRCC and DCCC are heavily targeting this race. No public polling is available. Sources:,,,,
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