The Ohio Supreme Court’s decision to allow Democrats to go forward with a petition drive to stop the Republican congressional redistricting plan has thrown the 2012 congressional elections into chaos. Candidates for Congress – incumbents and challengers, Republicans and Democrats – will have to sit on their hands for a while to see when they should file and if the districts they planned to file in will even exist.
It is not entirely clear yet, but it would appear now that congressional candidates will file petitions by the Dec. 7 deadline for districts that may no longer exist by the planned March 6 primary. Or they could be forced to run in a statewide primary election for Ohio’s 16 U.S. House seats, where the top 16 Republicans face the top 16 finishing Democrats in the November 2012 election.
Or they could end up in running in vastly different-looking districts than they had expected to, if legislative Republicans and Democrats can work out a solution to the impasse.
Matt McClellan, spokesman for Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted, who wanted to stop the petition drive, told The Enquirer on Saturday that the ruling threw “a monkey wrench” into not only the congressional candidate filing deadline, but the deadline for presidential candidates.