COLUMBUS -- State Senator Randy Gardner has decided not to run for Congress. His name is one of many mentioned in connection for the 5th District congressional seat held by the late Paul Gillmor, who was found dead in his Washington-area apartment two weeks ago.
"I sincerely appreciate all the phone calls and emails of support," Gardner said in a prepared statement that was e-mailed to News 11. "But my heart has always been here in Wood County and Northwest Ohio. There is so much work yet to do at the Statehouse. I want to continue to do everything I can to represent our area in Columbus."
Ohio Governor Ted has scheduled a special primary election for November 6 to begin the process of filling the vacancy. The candidates would then run in a general election six weeks later.
Gardner is currently the Senate Majority Floor Leader. He says the congressional schedule would not be good for him or his children, ages 13, 14 and 16. "Spending five days a week in Washington is not what I want to do. My decision is best for my family and for those who elected me to serve them in the Ohio Senate."
Republican State Senator Bob Latta has already announced he will run for the seat. Former State Rep. Rex Damschroeder and Mark Hollenbaugh from Bowling Green also have taken out petitions to begin their campaigns.
Count on News 11 to follow this story as it develops.