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Ohio's 16th District: GOP Hits Just Keep Coming

Rep. Ralph Regula's (R-Ohio) long-expected retirement over the weekend adds yet another open seat that Republicans will have to fight hard -- and spend freely -- to win.

Regula has been on retirement lists for the last several cycles due to his age (82) and the fact that he lost his bid for chairmanship of the House Appropriations Committee in January 2005.

His retirement -- along with the announcement by fellow Ohio Republican Rep. Dave Hobson (Ohio) that he, too, would not seek re-election -- brings to 12 the number of Republican open seats, one-fourth of which are in the Buckeye State.

Here's our sketch of Regula's district:

Geography: The district takes in all or parts of four northeastern Ohio counties -- Ashland, Medina, Wayne and Stark. Stark County, the population hub of the seat, includes the city of Canton -- home to the football hall of fame.

Electoral Results: Republicans are seeking to paint this as a comfortably GOP seat. President Bush carried it with 53 percent in 2000 and 54 percent in 2004 while Clinton won it narrowly -- 43 percent to 42 percent -- in 1996; in 2006 Gov. Tom Strickland (D) won Stark County with 66 percent while Sen. Sherrod Brown (D) took 57 percent. Regula hadn't faces a serious challenge in decades but against a no-name candidate in 2006 he took 58 percent of the vote -- his lowest total since 1972.

Candidates: State Sen. John Boccieri was in the race against Regula, and even with the seat now open he appears to be the choice of state and national Democrats. Boccieri has a compelling life story including service in the U.S. Air Force and a brief stint as a professional baseball player. For Republicans, things are more muddled. State Sens. Kirk Schuring and Ron Amstutz are in the mix as is state Rep. Scott Oelslager and Ashland County Commissioner Matt Miller.

Outlook: National Democrats have been excited about Boccieri for some time now and the fact he has been in the race for months gives him a head start over the eventual Republican nominee. And, Boccieri is almost certain to have a clear primary field while a GOP primary seems extremely likely given how long Regula has held the seat. The district has a slight Republican lean but given the Ohio GOP's ongoing problems in Ohio the race probably starts on neutral ground. Today it looks like a Democratic pickup opportunity.

Looking for other open seat sketches? Click here.

By Chris Cillizza  |  October 15, 2007; 5:10 PM ET
Categories:  House  
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Next: Virginia Senate: Can Warner be Beaten (Part 2)?



If the Democrats take the White House, you won't have to wait long for Republicans who, like magic, will suddenly realize what a wasted effort Iraq is, now that a Democratic administration is in charge.

Just look at all the Republicans who support Bush in this war, but still think Clinton's action in the Balkans, which acheived diplomatic objectives with minimal loss of American lives, was a failed episode of evil "nation-building."

Or we can look back to Vietnam. There was a Democratic majority in Congress throughout the war. But many of the Democrats, who put on a stiff upper lip and supported LBJ, suddenly turned against the war when Nixon was in charge.

The fact is, positions on foreign policy among many in Congress wax and wane according to if the party of the given congressman has control of the White House.

Posted by: AlaninMissoula | October 16, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I think you mean Gov. TED Strickland, not Tom.

Posted by: jon.morgan.1999 | October 16, 2007 9:14 AM | Report abuse

These accumulating retirements remind me of a snowball rolling downhill (at least like I've seen in cartoons--I live in Texas, so I don't have any experience with snowballs). Makes me wonder if these Republicans have been looking for an excuse to go back home, where they really want to be, or if they are just convinced that their party will be so out of power that it won't be fun to fight out elections and stay in Washington.

Posted by: Budikavlan | October 15, 2007 10:17 PM | Report abuse

OH-07's retirement means there will be 3 open seats in Ohio alone next year, and that the GOP will have to defend 5 very vulnerable seats in that! Imagine a small Democratic breeze, and most of those could fall on the Democratic column. Analysis of the Ohio situation available here:

Posted by: campaigndiaries | October 15, 2007 8:05 PM | Report abuse

You mean slave labor, mascmen7. I thought that's why the cival war was fought. Slave labor was wrong then and it's wrong now. If you can't compete without slave labor then, to bad for you. I don't have slave labor. I don't have robots doing my work for me. how about american jobs to americans. Sell-out traitor gop'ers need to go somewhere were they can be cowboys. Go down to south america, tough guys. go to columbia, let's see how tough you are. See how you like it down there. You hate the freedom in your own country, gop. Try out south america. See how you act when you come back/

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 15, 2007 6:45 PM | Report abuse

This Republican wants all Republicans in Congress to lose until they stop supporting the useless Iraq War which will be going 10 years from now whether or not we are there plus their attacking Mexicans who harvest all our crops. Hope you have canned goods stored away as fresh food might become scarce due to crazed Republicans scaring off Mexican workers.

Posted by: mascmen7 | October 15, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

The robot groomed to take over for o'reilly is not. YEah. "another one bites the dust" :)

"Then Malkin tried to run hate ads against Geraldo and they were rejected.....Now it looks like she bailed out of the Factor.

From: "Michelle Malkin"
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2007 23:04:58 -0400
Subject: Re: Michelle no longer on the Factor?
I made the decision to quit appearing on the O'Reilly show in response to the poor handling of the Geraldo Rivera matter (the staged "apology" on The Factor was a complete farce). I won't go into details, but please know that your support means a lot to me. You can catch me on other Fox News shows and read my daily blog posts and weekly columns at



Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 15, 2007 5:51 PM | Report abuse

You see cc. It's not the rules you create, on this blog. It's reality, that these people have a problem with. And me and those like me bringing it to this site. The worse the reality get's the less "hard" the fascists are. That is why I come here and bring reality all day. If these people knew what they were fighting for , here, would they still fight change?

No. The gop is done.

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 15, 2007 5:39 PM | Report abuse

crickets crickets. Scared yet gop. I know, I know. everything is everybody else's fault. You are perfect. Change is for the "evil" ones. growth is for "socialists".

HAHHAHA. Your party is done for a generation. Look in the mirror if you want someone to blame

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 15, 2007 5:37 PM | Report abuse

" Duh Duh Duh. Another one bites the dust"

Posted by: RUFUS11_33 | October 15, 2007 5:14 PM | Report abuse

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