Here's a scorecard to keep track of all the political action tonight.
Ohio’s 2nd District (Cincinnati and surrounding area): For an early test of anti-Washington sentiment, look to see whether Rep. Jean Schmidt (R-Ohio) win her party’s nomination comfortably, or whether state Rep. Tom Brinkman makes it a close race . Schmidt has a shaky grasp on this seat, but Brinkman has raised very little money.
Originally, Schmidt looked as if she’d face former Hamilton County commissioner Phil Heimlich, who had raised more money than her, but he abruptly withdrew from the race in January.
Ohio’s 10th District (Cleveland): Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) will see whether the backlash from his quixotic presidential campaign will cost him his congressional seat. He’s facing the toughest campaign of his congressional career, running against an upstart challenger in Cleveland City Councilman Joe Cimperman – and three other lesser-known Democrats.
Kucinich, who began his re-election bid with virtually no money in his campaign account, was able to tap into a national donor base by raising well over $700,000 in the last two months.
But Cimperman has effectively lampooned Kucinich for ignoring the needs of the district while running for president. If all politics is indeed local, he has a decent shot at unseating the six-term congressman.
Ohio’s 16th District (Canton and surrounding area): Democrats feel this race for the Canton area seat held by retiring Rep. Ralph Regula (R-Ohio) is one of their best pickup opportunities in 2008. They have touted state senator John Boccieri, an Iraq war veteran, as one of their more promising recruits.
On the Republican side, state senator Kirk Schuring has been endorsed by Regula and is viewed as the favorite against Ashland County Commissioner Matt Miller, and radio show host Paul Schiffer.
Ohio’s 18th District: (eastern Ohio): Republicans will select a nominee to challenge Rep. Zack Space (D-Ohio) in a rural, blue-collar district in eastern Ohio.
The district should be favorable territory for the GOP, but Republicans have had trouble recruiting credible candidates to challenge Space. The three Republican running in the primary -- former Guernsey County Magistrate Jeanette Moll, attorney Paul Phillips, and former state Agriculture Commissioner Fred Dailey – have hardly raised any money in preparation for what would be a tough general election campaign.
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