Embattled Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Ney formally withdrew this morning as a candidate for re-election, triggering a special election to replace him on the Nov. 7 ballot.
Because Ney filed his one-sentence notice at the Tuscarawas County Board of Elections this morning, prior to 80 days before the election, by law a special election must be held.
James Lee, a spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State J. Kenneth Blackwell, said he expects a date for the special election to be set within the next few days.
Blackwell's office determines the date, as well as other details including filing requirements for candidates, in consultation with the boards of elections in the 16 counties in the 18th Congressional district. Lee has estimated the cost of a special election will be about $500,000.
Ney and Ohio Republicans have indicated they want Republican state Sen. Joy Padgett to replace Ney on the ballot, although other Republicans also could now run for the spot.
Democrats have vowed to challenge Padgett's candidacy, arguing she cannot run for Ney's seat because she already ran and lost in the May primary for lieutenant governor as Attorney General Jim Petro's running mate.
Democrats also have pointed to a new provision in state law that prevents a candidate from running for both a state and federal office in the same election.
We may have to throw a party: Times where the Ohio Republican Party does the right thing are few and far between.
Let the madness begin!