Kate Warren, Research Associate


Before November’s general election, candidates running for seats in the Ohio General Assembly must first compete in an election against members of their own political parties. This is called a primary election—intended to ensure only one representative of each political party appears on the ballot in November. Some districts may not have any partisan challengers in the primary, while others, especially in open districts with no incumbent running, may have as many as five candidates vying for one spot in the general election.

The maps below were created by Community Solutions in partnership with Advocates for Ohio’s Future

Partisan candidates were required to file petitions with signatures of 50 registered voters in their districts by December 18 for their names to be included on the primary ballot. Boards of elections then had to certify the validity and sufficiency of those petitions by December 30.

A person may also seek election by running as a write-in candidate. Write-in candidates must file a declaration of intent to run and meet all the of the qualifications for the office they seek. Write-in candidates for the primary elections were required to file with their boards of elections by January 6, 2020—their names will not appear on the ballot but may be manually entered.

Election Day is March 17

The maps below were created by Community Solutions in partnership with Advocates for Ohio’s Future. They show all qualified candidates whose names will appear on the ballot in the March 17 primary election. The map also includes write-in candidates who have appropriately filed.

However, several candidates have made the choice to suspend or end their campaigns after they filed necessary paperwork. Though their names will appear on the ballot, they are not eligible for election. The list below includes those candidates who suspended their campaigns as of February 18, 2020.

Ohio House Suspended Campaigns

  • House District 25- Nick Bankston (D-Columbus)[1]
  • House District 43- J. Todd Smith (R-Germantown) – J. Todd Smith currently holds this seat but will not seek re-election. This makes House District 43 an unexpectedly open district.[2]
  • House District 94-Katie O’Neill (D-Athens) – Katie O’Neill was the only Democrat who planned to challenge Republican incumbent Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville). Ms. O’Neill did not meet all requirements to run and has been disqualified. Edwards will be uncontested in the November election.[3]

Ohio Senate Suspended Campaigns

  • Senate District 16-Justin Adkins (D-Columbus)[4]
  • Senate District 22-Michael Reynolds (R-Wadsworth)[5]

Since more candidates could drop out before the primary election, we encourage you to verify your candidate of choice is still running in the race before placing your vote. The deadline to register to vote in the primary is February 18 and early voting begins on February 19. You can cast your ballot in person at county boards of election anytime between now and Election Day, or in person at the polls on March 17.

[1] Ballot set for Ohio’s 2020 primary: Capitol Letter, January 9, 2020

[2] Local state lawmaker won’t seek re-election to Ohio House, January 31, 2020

[3] Dem candidate loses spot on ballot to take on state Rep. Edwards, February 5, 2020

[4] Ohio hires election cybersecurity chief: Capitol Letter, January 24, 2020

[5] Michael Reynolds drops out of state senate race, February 6, 2020

Ohio Senate Map

Ohio House Map