breaking news

Man arrested for ATV incident once was star Colonel White athlete

3 Republicans vie for Maag’s former 62nd District seat

Split in local GOP a factor in race.District includes Springboro, Franklin and Carlisle areas.


Three Warren County Republicans are vying for Ron Maag’s 62nd District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.

The race, including a candidate counting on support from voters going to the polls to support Donald Trump’s run for the White House, is also part of the continuing struggle for control of the local GOP, which dominates the county’s political scene and elected offices.

Maag, who is term-limited as a state representative, is expected to pursue appointment to Ohio Sen. Shannon Jones’ office. Jones is unopposed in the upcoming primary and general elections for Pat South’s seat on the Warren County commission.

The GOP primary race for Maag’s seat is between Ray Warrick, chairman of the county GOP; Clearcreek Twp. Trustee Steve Muterspaw; and former Franklin Mayor Scott Lipps.

The result, along with one for GOP seats in wards across the county that make up the majority of the party’s leadership, will be a measure of the political strength of each segment of the party in this Republican stronghold, one of Ohio’s fastest-growing counties.

The winner of the GOP primary in the 62nd District — which includes Springboro, Franklin, Waynesville and Carlisle — should face opposition in November from Samuel Ronan of Springboro.

The candidates, none of whom has run for statewide office before, all oppose abortion and an expansion of Medicaid. All three agree higher education should be reformed to make it more affordable and that Ohio would benefit from becoming a Right to Work state.

Only Warrick supports legalization of marijuana use.

Lipps is the most experienced campaigner, having been elected to multiple council terms in Franklin. Muterspaw is in his first term as trustee in Clearcreek Twp., winning more votes than three veteran trustees.

“With the redistricting, I felt someone from a small community would have a chance,” said Lipps, a businessman and long-time councilman in Franklin. Maag is his campaign treasurer.

Muterspaw is backed by County Prosecutor David Fornshell, Commissioners Dave Young and Tom Grossmann, as well as County Treasurer and Clearcreek Twp. Fiscal Officer Linda Oda.

He is also backed by the mayor of Franklin, Denny Centers, where Lipps lives and previously served as mayor and councilman.

“When you serve together for 10 years, there are going to be disagreements and issues,” Lipps said, adding he has the endorsement of former Franklin Mayor Jim Mears.

Warrick has never been elected to political office, except the party seat he won in 2014 in an upset by the Tea Party branch.

He is administrator in Hamilton Twp., where the largest percentage of voters in the 62nd District live.

Still, Warrick described himself as an outsider during a voter’s forum earlier this month, prompting the moderator to point to Trump’s lead so far in the Republican presidential primary.

Last week, Warrick said his best hope of winning the most votes in the same primary where Ohioans pick presidential candidates was based on a big turnout in response to attention generated by Trump’s lead coming out of Super Tuesday primaries.

“The other wild card out there is the Trump factor,” Warrick said. “If only the normal primary voters show up, there’s no way I can win.”

Warrick’s opponents point to his legal problems stemming from unpaid state sales tax and a past bankruptcy.

“There are people who have concerns,” said Muterspaw, a former business owner in his first term as a trustee in Clearcreek Twp., the growing township around the Warren-Montgomery line and outside Springboro.

Warrick attributed the financial and legal problems to the economic downturn and a lack of resolution of questions over how much in back taxes is owed to the state.

In addition to support from business groups and the county’s elected officials, including Maag, Commissioner Pat South and Sheriff Larry Simms, Lipps apparently has the fullest campaign coffers. Lipps has $54,041, compared to Warrick with $12,327 and Muterspaw’s $8,385 on hand, according to pre-primary campaign finance reports.

Warrick said he has not been seeking endorsements, another example of his critical stands on “politics as usual.”

One of Lipps’ campaign cards pictures him holding a baby and advertising his endorsement by the Ohio Right to Life Political Action Committee.

Muterspaw has the backing of local Right to Life leaders and Congressman Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, as well as 30 years of opposition to abortion, he said.

“I’m the only candidate doing that, not just saying it when I run for office,” Muterspaw said.

Visit vote.daytondailynews.com for more information about each of the candidates and their stances on political issues, including income tax cuts and education reform.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Politics

More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision
More LGBT issues loom as justices near wedding cake decision

A flood of lawsuits over LGBT rights is making its way through courts and will continue, no matter the outcome in the Supreme Court’s highly anticipated decision in the case of a Colorado baker who would not create a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. Courts are engaged in two broad types of cases on this issue, weighing whether sex discrimination...
VA may expand private health care choices for veterans
VA may expand private health care choices for veterans

Veterans will have expanded private health care options under legislation passed by Congress, but some critics contend it could lead to more privatization of VA services. The measure was part of a sweeping $51 billion VA bill that would institute reforms within the federal agency. The Senate passed the measure in 92-5 vote this week, which continued...
Trump says N. Korea summit may be back on; Ohio lawmakers react
Trump says N. Korea summit may be back on; Ohio lawmakers react

President Donald Trump on Friday warmly welcomed North Korea’s promising response to his abrupt withdrawal from the potentially historic Singapore summit and said “we’re talking to them now” about putting it back on track. “Everybody plays games,” said Trump, who often boasts about his own negotiating tactics and...
Facebook and Twitter plan new ways to regulate political ads
Facebook and Twitter plan new ways to regulate political ads

Facebook and Twitter announced plans Thursday to increase transparency of political campaign ads, changes aimed at preventing foreign manipulation of the coming midterm elections.  Facebook said it would begin including a “paid for” label on the top of any political ads in the United States. Clicking on the label will take people to...
NRA host calls for legislation to limit reporting on mass shooters. Then he says he didn’t mean it.
NRA host calls for legislation to limit reporting on mass shooters. Then he says he didn’t mean it.

In the days after a shooter killed 10 people at a Texas high school, National Rifle Association spokeswoman Dana Loesch joined a chorus of conservatives in spotlighting a subject to blame that didn't involve guns.  "The media has got to stop creating more of these monsters by oversaturation," Loesch said on the NRA's television station...
More Stories