4 people say they are eyeing Wes Retherford’s Statehouse seat

Clockwise from top left: Joe Statzer; Don Carpenter; State Rep. Wes Retherford; Mike Snyder; and Chad Oberson.
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Clockwise from top left: Joe Statzer; Don Carpenter; State Rep. Wes Retherford; Mike Snyder; and Chad Oberson.

At least four people have told the Journal-News they are interested in the Ohio House 51st District seat if State Rep. Wes Retherford steps down — either voluntarily or by statute if he's convicted of a felony.

Retherford was found at 3:23 a.m. March 12 allegedly passed out drunk in the driver's seat of idling pickup truck in a McDonald's drive-thru.

Retherford is charged with operating a vehicle while impaired, a misdemeanor, and improperly handling a firearm, a felony.

Explore MORE: Retherford has racked up tickets across the state

The Ohio House 51st District includes the cities of Hamilton and Fairfield, and all or parts of Ross, Fairfield and Sinclair townships.

The number of people interested in the seat grows when talking with various members of the Butler County GOP, but here’s who has confirmed their interest on the record:

Don Carpenter: The insurance agent told the Journal-News, "I'm interested in exploring the opportunity to run." Carpenter has worked behind the scenes on many political campaigns within Butler County. He has also served on the Butler County GOP Central Committee and is an active member within the party.

Chad Oberson: The owner of Oberson's Nursery and Landscaping is currently serving his first term on Fairfield City Council. He "is interested" in the Statehouse position, but also told the Journal-News he is considering a re-election run in Fairfield.

Mike Snyder: The Fairfield City Council member will wrap up a third-term in December. He served two terms and part of an unexpired term representing the city's First Ward from 2001 until December 2011 when he was forced off council for two years due to term limits. He was elected to his at-large seat four years ago.

“It’s very early, but I’ve started to give it some serious consideration. I have an interest in it at this point,” Snyder told the Journal-News.

Snyder is up for re-election in Fairfield, but said at this time he does not plan to seek a second term.

Joe Statzer: The long-time political consultant and current instructor at Cincinnati State Middletown said he would be qualified for the seat. "My business, government and educational background, along with my connections to the district, would give me a unique perspective and strong resume to seek the role," Statzer told the Journal-News.

Statzer has served as an adviser within Butler County, consulting on campaigns and helping political officials.

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