A local attorney and state representative has dropped out of the race for state office.
State Representative Dorothy Pelanda announced Monday that she is withdrawing her candidacy for Ohio Secretary of State.
“As we enter the primary season, it is with a grateful heart that I recognize we must do all we can to keep our Ohio GOP family strong,” Pelanda wrote in a statement to supporters and sent to the Journal-Tribune. “Part of that process is to ensure that we are a united party. I have every confidence that this goal will be achieved and it is with that sentiment that I announce I am ending my candidacy for Secretary of State.”
Pelanda, a Republican, currently serves in the Ohio House of Representatives for the 86th District, which includes all of Union and much of Marion counties. In March, she announced she would run for Ohio Secretary of State. The party primary elections for Ohio Secretary of State will be in May 2018 with the general election in November. The secretary of state is responsible for overseeing Ohio’s elections and processing business filings. Current Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted cannot run again because of term limits. He is running for governor in 2018.
“Over the last several months as I have campaigned across our beloved Buckeye State, I have been humbled by the support and encouragement that I have received,” Pelanda said.
She said her time campaigning has, “reinforced what I already knew—our Republican Party is a family.”
“When I have had the privilege of addressing my colleagues in the Ohio House of Representatives, I have always made it a point to address them as my brothers and sisters,” Pelanda wrote.
She compared the Republican family to all families, “we may have the occasional disagreement on an issue. Yet at the end of the day, we stick together because of our shared vision.
”She said that she will continue to support her family.
“It is with that same endearment and with that equal love and respect that I pledge to support the Republican statewide ticket in 2018,” Pelanda said.
She added, “I sincerely look forward to dedicating all my efforts to assist in ensuring victory for our family in 2018.”
Tina LaRoche, director of the Union County Board of Elections, said Pelanda could still run for her seat in the House of Representatives. She said Pelanda would have until Feb. 7, 2018 to file to run for the seat she currently holds. Pelanda has not said whether she will seek reelection or what’s next for her politically.
In November, Pelanda defeated Democrat Scott Crider. Pelanda was originally appointed to Ohio House of Representatives in 2011 to fill the unexpired term of Dave Burke and has been elected to the House seat three times. In 2015, Pelanda was elected by her Republican colleagues to serve as House Majority Whip. Earlier this year she was selected as House Majority Floor Leader.
While Tracy Richardson has formally announced candidacy for Pelanda’s seat she has not officially filed.
Officials from the Marion County Board of Election have said no candidates have filed for the seat. Because Marion County is the most populous county in the district, candidates must file there.
State Senator Frank LaRose is the only Republican currently in the race for Secretary of State. He currently represents Ohio’s 27th senate district, which includes all or part of Wayne, Stark and Summit counties.
LaRose had consistently raised more campaign donations than Pelanda and as of July 31 had more than $350,000 more cash on hand than Pelanda’s campaign.
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