COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — As central Ohioans are poised to decide who will represent them in the U.S. House of Representatives, a variety of candidates are fighting for a seat in the Capitol.

While Ohio’s disputed redistricting process ruled out the inclusion of state House and Senate races on the May 3 ballot, congressional candidates to represent Ohio’s 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 12th, and 15th districts will compete in May for a spot on the November general election ballot.

Four of the five districts that represent central Ohio favor Republicans, and only one — District 3 — is expected to lean toward a Democratic candidate.

Ohioans can find their congressional district here.

With incumbents listed first, here’s a look at who’s running to represent central Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives:

District 2

District 2 includes Adams, Brown, Clermont, Clinton, Gallia, Highland, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Pickaway, Pike, Ross, Vinton, and Scioto counties, as well as the southern portion of Fayette County.

With 28.91% Democrats and 68.79% Republicans, District 2 favors Republicans by 39.88 points. The district is 92.43% white and 7.57% non-white.

Brad Wenstrup (R)

Congressman Brad Wenstrup has represented Ohio’s second congressional district as a Republican since 2013.

Wenstrup, a former combat surgeon for the U.S. Army Reserve who’s practiced medicine in Cincinnati for more than 26 years, has condemned the Affordable Care Act and other attempts by Congress to “force a government controlled single-payer system on every American,” according to his campaign website.

A gun owner and life member of the National Rifle Association, Wenstrup said he’ll advocate for legislation that reaffirms the Second Amendment and protects the rights of gun owners.

After witnessing “anti-American activity first hand” while serving in Iraq, Wenstrup pledged to fight to secure U.S. borders and maintain a “strong, able, and ready military,” his website reads.

For more information about Wenstrup’s campaign, visit his website.

Alan Darnowsky (D)

Alan Darnowksy, a retiree who’s spent 40 years working in information technology, is running on the Democratic ticket to represent Ohio’s second congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

According to Darnowsky’s campaign website, the Loveland native also owned a small software firm and ended his career as a vice president at Citibank.

In a series of tweets, Darnowsky condemned Wenstrup’s voting record in the U.S. House, including his opposition to legalizing marijuana at the federal level and setting a $35 cap on insulin, as well as his vote against expanding the child tax credit.

For more information about Darnowsky’s campaign, visit his website.

Samantha Meadows (D)

Samantha Meadows, a former EMT, is a Democratic contender for Ohio’s second district in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Meadows touted her support for decriminalizing marijuana, placing a $35 monthly cap on the cost of insulin, expanding Medicaid coverage, and preserving the right to an abortion, according to her campaign website.

As a Ross County resident, Meadows condemned recommendations to close the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Chillicothe that’s been an “integral part of the lives of those who have served this great country,” her website reads.

For more information about Meadows’ campaign, visit her website.

James Condit Jr. (R)

Information pertaining to Condit Jr.’s campaign was not immediately available.

David Windisch (R)

Information pertaining to Windisch’s campaign was not immediately available.

District 3

District 3 includes portions of Columbus and the northeastern suburbs of Franklin County.

With 67.26% Democrats and 30.53% Republicans, District 3 favors Democrats by 36.73 points. The district is 59.86% white and 40.14% non-white.

Joyce Beatty (D)

Since 2013, Congresswoman Joyce Beatty has represented Ohio’s third congressional district as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Prior to her election to Congress, Beatty, who currently serves as the chairperson of the Congressional Black Caucus, worked as an administrator at the Ohio State University and as a state representative in the Ohio General Assembly, according to her website.

Beatty’s platform includes strengthening the Affordable Care Act, combating rising student loan debt, and providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, according to her campaign website.

Most recently, Beatty voted in favor of the Marijuana Opportunity Reinvestment and Expungement (MORE) Act to legalize cannabis at the federal level.

After it was revealed that Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, worked with Trump administrators to overturn the results of the 2020 election, Beatty called on Justice Thomas to resign from the Court.

For more information about Beatty’s campaign, visit her website.

Lee Stahley (R)

Lee Stahley is an optometric technician at Ohio State University and a former Whitehall City Councilmember.

Among his priority issues are making health care more affordable for Americans and dismantling the power of big tech companies, according to his campaign website.

Although he takes a traditionally conservative approach in his opposition to teaching critical race theory in schools, he leans left on LGBTQ issues, arguing that the government has no right to “regulate the love lives of American citizens.”

Stahley is personally opposed to abortion, but he said his “opinions on the matter are mute” as he’s neither a woman nor a doctor, according to his campaign website.

For more information about Stahley’s campaign, visit his website.

District 4

District 4 is comprised of Auglaize, Allen, Champaign, Logan, Hardin, Marion, Union, Morrow, Richland, and Ashland counties, as well as the western half of Delaware County, the northern half of Shelby County, and the southwestern portion of Wyandot County.

With 30.97% Democrats and 66.46% Republicans, District 4 favors Republicans by 35.49 points. The district is 86.85% white and 13.15% non-white.

Jim Jordan (R)

Incumbent Jim Jordan, a Republican who was born in rural Champaign County, has represented Ohio’s 4th congressional district since 2007, according to the U.S. Congress. He’s running unopposed in the Republican primary.

Jordan swept the general election for the 4th district in 2020, beating out Democratic contender Shannon Freshour with nearly 68% of the vote.

Running on a platform of fiscal responsibility and small government, Jordan has consistently called on Congress — which he characterized as “large, cumbersome and bureaucratic” — to slash the federal budget and leave more decision-making powers in the hands of individuals and private businesses, according to his website.

From calling on lawmakers to defund Planned Parenthood to advocating for a crackdown on illegal immigration, Jordan has touted his support for “pro-family values” during his time in Congress.

Jordan served as the first chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, which, according to Pew Research, includes several Tea Party veterans and some of the more conservative Republicans in the U.S. House.

A staunch supporter of former President Donald Trump, Jordan voted against the president’s impeachment in January 2021 for his alleged role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol. Just days before leaving office, Trump awarded Jordan the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Jordan, who served as an assistant wrestling coach at Ohio State from 1987 to 1995, has been dogged by questions in recent years after he was accused of knowing about the sexual abuse of university athletes at the hands of Dr. Richard Strauss. Jordan has denied such knowledge.

For more information about Jordan’s campaign, visit his website.

Jeffrey Sites (D)

One of the two Democratic contenders for Ohio’s 4th congressional district is Jeffrey Sites, a Lima native who served as an Army policeman before working blue-collar jobs – first as a forklift driver and more recently as a warehouse manager, according to Sites’ campaign website.

After Jordan supported Trump’s calls to overturn the 2020 election results, Sites said “duty called again” and encouraged him to place his name in the running to beat the long-time incumbent – who he called a “domestic enemy of our beloved Constitution and nation.”

Running on a middle-class, populist platform, Sites touted his support for slashing prescription drug prices and building a single-payer health care system. 

He condemned Congress’ response to the Great Recession in 2008 – bailing out billionaires and big businesses before “regular folks” – and encouraged Americans to “learn from the failures of the last downturn,” his campaign website reads.

He pledged to expand Social Security and Medicare, treat climate change as a real threat that must be combated with renewable energy research and “green-collar jobs,” and reform election laws to get money out of politics.

For more information about Sites’ campaign, visit his website.

Tamie Wilson (D)

Tamie Wilson, born and raised in the Columbus area, is also running on the Democratic ticket for Ohio’s 4th congressional district. 

As a single mom, small business owner, and certified life coach, Wilson is running on a five-point platform: working across the aisle to get things done; advocating for women and marginalized communities; making voting more accessible; calling on the “1% to pay their fair share” of taxes; and improving education, according to Wilson’s campaign website.

While she offered her support for the Second Amendment, Wilson, whose aunt was killed in a domestic violence shooting, said she supports safety measures like criminal background checks to combat gun violence.

Wilson, who enrolled in the Delaware Citizen’s Police Academy, said: “Police officers are extraordinary people” who must be supported with training and greater resources. But, as a biracial woman who said she’s experienced racism all her life, Wilson said wrongdoers in law enforcement and racist cops must be held accountable.

For more information about Wilson’s campaign, visit her website.

District 12

District 12 includes Athens, Coshocton, Guernsey, Fairfield, Knox, Licking, Morgan, Muskingum, along with the eastern half of Delaware County, the western half of Tuscarawas County, and all of Holmes County besides the northwestern-most portion.

With 34.93% Democrats and 62.57% Republicans, District 12 favors Republicans by 27.64 points. The district is 89.54% white and 10.46% non-white.

Troy Balderson (R)

Incumbent Republican Congressman Troy Balderson, who was born and raised in southeastern Ohio, is running for re-election to represent Ohio’s 12th congressional district in the U.S. House.

Prior to his election to the federal government, Balderson served as a state representative and later a state senator in the Ohio General Assembly.

Among the issues Balderson pledged to prioritize is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, which he said took a toll on Ohio families. While in Congress, Balderson fought to extend unemployment benefits and help Ohioans recover through loans from the Paycheck Protection Program, according to his campaign website.

Not only did Balderson call on prioritizing funding for the U.S. military to protect the country’s safety and economic freedom, but he also pledged to advocate for veterans’ needs upon their return home.

As for social issues, Balderson is endorsed by the Ohio Right to Life PAC for his commitment to pro-life legislation, according to his campaign website.

A gun owner, Balderson said he has routinely received high ratings from the National Rifle Association and the Buckeye Firearms Association — and pledged to fight House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “liberal gun-grab.”

Despite his endorsement from former President Donald Trump in 2018, Balderson broke away from fellow Republicans who called on Congress to overturn the results of the 2020 election and certify Trump as the victor.

For more information about Balderson’s campaign, visit his website.

Brandon Lape (R)

Brandon Lape is an IT professional and former Libertarian candidate for Ohio’s 7th congressional district.

From calling on lawmakers to “print guns not money” and abolish the federal reserve, Lape is running on a small government and fiscally conservative platform, according to his campaign website.

Lape, a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, pledged to advocate for the repeal of several bills restricting access to firearms, including the Gun Control Act of 1968 which prohibits mail-order sales of rifles and shotguns, and bans convicted felons and mentally disabled people from purchasing guns.

Not only did Lape urge for the abolition of the Federal Reserve and corporate welfare, but he also called for scaling back and allowing people to opt-out of Social Security in order to “put control back into the hands of the people,” his campaign website reads.

For more information on Lape’s campaign, visit his website.

Michael Fletcher (D)

Although Fletcher is listed as a Democratic contender for Ohio’s 12th congressional district on a sample ballot with the Licking County Board of Elections, information pertaining to Fletcher’s campaign was not immediately available online.

Amy Rippel-Elton (D)

Although Rippel-Elton is listed as a Democratic contender for Ohio’s 12th congressional district on a sample ballot with the Licking County Board of Elections, information pertaining to Rippel-Elton’s campaign was not immediately available online.

District 15

District 15 is comprised of Madison County, the southern half of Shelby County, central and western Miami County, central and northern Fayette County, western Franklin County, and all but the central portion of Clark County.

With 44.19% Democrats and 53.38% Republicans, District 15 favors Republicans by 9.19 points. The district is 76.24% white and 23.76% non-white.

Mike Carey (R)

Congressman Mike Carey, a Republican from Columbus, is seeking re-election to Ohio’s 15th district seat in the U.S. House.

First elected to the U.S. House in 2021, Carey is running as a pro-Trump, “conservative outsider” who said he’s committed to curtailing “reckless” Democratic spending and calling on further construction of Trump’s southern border wall, his campaign website reads.

Carey, an Army National Guard veteran and former coal lobbyist for Murray Energy, defeated his Democratic opponent and current Ohio Sen. Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington) to represent the 15th district in 2021.

Carey highlighted six priority issues on his campaign website: countering what he called Democratic-induced inflation and returning to the “booming economy” under former President Donald Trump; setting up the U.S. to be energy-independent; ending “anti-American” curriculum in U.S. education; restricting immigration at the Mexico-U.S. border; preserving the Second Amendment; and protecting the rights of the unborn, according to his campaign website.

He is running unopposed on the Republican primary ticket. For more information about Carey’s campaign, visit his website.

Gary Josephson (D)

Information pertaining to Josephson’s campaign was not immediately available online.

Danny O’Connor (D)

Although Democrat Danny O’Connor is set to appear on the May 3 primary election ballot, he announced Thursday that he is dropping out of the race due the recent redistricting of the state map.

Previewing the major races in Ohio’s May primary election

The week of April 17, is running a series of previewing races

  • Monday: U.S. House races for central Ohio
  • Tuesday: Democrats running for U.S. Senate
  • Wednesday: Republicans running for U.S. Senate
  • Thursday: Democrats running for governor
  • Friday: Republicans running for governor