Franklin mayor eyeing run for Congress

Although Ohio’s congressional and statehouse district boundaries have yet to be redrawn, Franklin Mayor Brent Centers is considering running for a U.S. Congress seat in 2022.

Warren County is part of the 1st Ohio Congressional District which also includes western and a thin strip of Hamilton County to connect both counties and is represented by Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Cincinnati.

The 32-year-old Republican said Chabot will have 25 years in Congress in 2022 and will be 70 years old and assumes he’ll step down to take advantage of his full federal retirement and step down.

“That’s my assumption and the assumption of a lot of people who are endorsing me,” Centers said.

Jon Conradi, an advisor to Chabot’s campaign, confirmed he is seeking re-election. Chabot “has been crystal clear he is running for reelection.” Conradi said Chabot announced that in an op-ed published Nov. 25.

In the op-ed, Chabot said, “I’d like to continue delivering effective representation to the people of the 1st Congressional District. That’s why whatever happens with redistricting this time around, I will run again in 2022. .”

Also, if Warren County is drawn out of its current boundaries with Hamilton County, Centers believes it is likely to be absorbed into the current 8th Congressional District that is represented by Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, or into the 2nd Congressional District that is represented by Rep. Brad Wenstrup. Wenstrup is reportedly considering running for the U.S. Senate seat to replace Sen. Rob Portman.

Centers said the Democratic party is organized and energized, resulting in the Democrats winning the House, Senate, and White House in 2020. He believes the Republican party is somewhat organized and needs to be re-energized which is why he is considering running for Congress.

“As a younger conservative with a proven conservative record as mayor, there are a lot of people like me that don’t have anyone to represent them,” Centers said. “It’s time we have an energized Republican that is willing to fight for us.”

For the past few months, Centers has been meeting with local leaders gathering endorsements and put out a social media video teasing his candidacy for Congress. He said his endorsements include Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims, nearly every Warren County mayor, and numerous city council, township trustee and school board members.

“People in Warren County are ready for change and ready to be represented,” he said.

Centers is scheduled to officially announce his candidacy for Congress on May 6.

An Iraq war veteran, Centers has served 13 years in the U.S. Air Force and Ohio Air National Guard. He is currently a first sergeant at the 180th Fighter Wing Medical Group based in Toledo. He is in his second term on Franklin City Council and in his second year as the city’s mayor where he has been vocally aggressive on drug crime. He is also the administrator of Hamilton Twp. in Warren County.

He holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Miami University; a master’s degree in public administration from University of Dayton; and a master’s degree in homeland security from Wilmington University.

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