Democratic rival: Rep. Turner’s ‘running scared’ already

Democratic candidate Theresa Gasper won the primary for the 10th Congressional district against Michael Milisites and Robert Klepinger. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

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Democratic candidate Theresa Gasper won the primary for the 10th Congressional district against Michael Milisites and Robert Klepinger. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Incumbent GOP congressman says big win is recognition of his work in community.

Just after Theresa Gasper beat two other Democrats to become the nominee against Congressman Mike Turner, the party’s congressional fundraising arm issued a memo warning the District 10 incumbent: “Mike Turner is in for a serious challenge.”

Gasper herself was a little more direct.

“I am going to be your next congresswoman,” Gasper told supporters at Mudlick Tap House in Dayton. “You are going to get what you deserve. Turner’s running scared already.”

Turner, who is seeking his ninth term, easily won with 79 percent of the votes among Republicans. John Mitchel and John Anderson split the remaining vote.

MORE: Democrat Theresa Gasper will take on Rep. Mike Turner this fall

“I think it’s in recognition of my work in the community,” Turner told AM 1290 News 95.7 WHIO, repeating his usual campaign message that he is “looking forward to continuing to tell the story over this election cycle of my work for Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, growing jobs in the area, and of course working diligently on the issue of national security.”

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Gasper won with 67 percent of the votes among Democrats. Robert Klepinger received 25 percent of the vote, and Michael Milisits took 7 percent.

Tuesday’s results set up what could be a challenging race for Turner, who has represented the district since 2003 and has won all of his elections since 2002 with more than 58 percent of the vote. In his last election in 2016, Turner won 64 percent of the vote.

Recently, two independent political analysts downgraded the outlook for Turner’s re-election. The Cook Political Report moved the seat from “solid” to “likely” re-election for Turner, in part due to “unflattering headlines related to his ugly ongoing divorce from an energy lobbyist he married in 2015.” Sabato’s Crystal Ball, an analysis from the University of Virginia, downgraded the race with similar justifications.

Davidson to face business owner

A Butler County business owner will face U.S. Rep. Warren Davidson, R-Troy, for the 8th Congressional District seat in November.

Vanessa Enoch, of West Chester Twp., won Tuesday’s democratic primary with nearly 58 percent of the vote, according to final, unofficial election results. She bested Ted Jones, of Piqua; Matthew Guyette, of Greenville; and Bill Ebben, of West Chester Twp.

The 8th Congressional District is one of the most conservative congressional districts in Ohio. It incorporates all of Butler, Clark, Darke, Miami and Preble counties, and the southernmost portion of Mercer County. It stretches from the shores of Grand Lake St. Mary’s along its northern borders to just before the northern portion of the Interstate 275 loop in Greater Cincinnati.

There are three-to-four times as many Republicans than Democrats in the six counties, according to elections office data.

But Enoch said she is hopeful she can beat Davidson, who won two elections in 2016 to win the congressional seat formerly held by former U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-West Chester Twp.

Jordan, Chabot win primaries

Congressman Jim Jordan won the Republican nomination in District 4. Jordan will face Democrat Janet Garrett in the fall for the seat that is one of the most gerrymandered in Ohio, locally including part or all of Logan, Mercer, Shelby, Auglaize and Champaign Counties.

In District 1, Republican Congressman Steve Chabot won his primary election and will face Democrat Aftab Pureval, who was unchallenged, in November. The district includes parts of Cincinnati, Hamilton County and all of Warren County.

Wright State graduate gets primary nod

Franklin County Recorder Danny O’Connor — a Wright State University graduate — is the Democratic nominee in Ohio Congressional District 12. He won both special and regular elections in the race for the seat resigned by Republican Rep. Pat Tiberi. He will face State Sen. Troy Balderson.

MORE: Wright State University graduate wins U.S. Congressional primary

Tiberi represented the district from 2001 until this year, when he resigned to lead the Ohio Business Roundtable. The district was occupied by John Kasich from his upset in 1982 through his first presidential run in 2000, when his former aide Tiberi took the seat.

The winner of the general election will represent a central Ohio district that includes all of Delaware, Licking and Morrow counties as well as parts of Franklin, Marion, Muskingum and Richland counties.

Read more coverage:

» Jim Renacci wins GOP primary, will face Sherrod Brown this fall

» Dayton-area congressional district no longer ‘solid’ for GOP, report says

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Staff Writers Jessica Werhman, Jack Torry and Michael D. Pitman contributed reporting.

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