Republican Representative Steve Austria from Beavercreek announced today that he will not be seeking reelection in the 2012 congressional race. Austria currently serves the 7th district, and would have faced a tough challenge ahead against Republican Congressman Mike Turner of the 3rd district.
The two were pitted against each other after Ohio released a new congressional map, merging the 3rd and 7th districts into a new 10th district. Ohio lost two congressional districts this year due to slow population growth.
Ohio's new congressional map consolidates a major air force base into a single district.
Southwest Ohio officials had said earlier they wanted Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to continue to have at least two representatives in Congress. However, the Dayton Daily News reports that they're confident the base's interests will be protected.
The base will be fully in the 10th District, which also pits Republican incumbents Mike Turner and Steve Austria.
On their last day of work this year, state lawmakers have overwhelmingly approved a new map of Congressional districts and a new single date for the two statewide primaries that were scheduled next year. But as Ohio Public Radio’s Karen Kasler reports, the map flap finally came to an end in marathon sessions of the House and Senate.
State lawmakers wanting to re-establish a single 2012 primary for Ohio are trying to reach a deal on a date.
Action on a bill calling for one primary next year was temporarily delayed by an Ohio House panel on Wednesday so lawmakers could meet behind closed doors to continue discussing the timing.
Under the bill, separate primaries set for March and June would be reunited on May 22. Candidates including presidential contenders would have until March 8 to file. Those who met a deadline last week would not have to re-file.
Public documents obtained by Ohio voter advocates show a key representative of U.S. House Speaker John Boehner was central in drawing the state's disputed congressional map.
Records released today by the Ohio Campaign for Accountable Redistricting show Tom Whatman, executive director of Team Boehner, participated in the process with legislative leaders, mapmaking consultants and the National Republican Congressional Committee. The correspondence includes a pledge by GOP Senate President Tom Niehaus to deliver "a map that Speaker Boehner fully supports."