CLEVELAND — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine has announced Nov. 2, 2021 will be the date for Ohio’s 11th Congressional District special election to fill the vacancy in the U.S. House created by the departure of Marcia Fudge, who was sworn in as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.
The Primary Election for the seat will take place on Aug. 3, 2021.
The deadline for candidates to file to run for the seat is May 5, and the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections must certify the names that will appear on the ballot by May 25.
Voters must be registered by July 6 to participate in the special election, which will occur on the same day as the regularly-scheduled General Election this year.
"I want to wish everyone who is considering running good luck," Secretary of State Frank LaRose said Thursday. "It’s always a challenge going out there and campaigning, and so we’ll keep them and their families in our prayers as they run for this opportunity to serve, and of course, once again encourage every eligible Ohioan to visit VoteOhio.gov to get registered to vote, and while you’re there, consider signing up to be a poll worker."
Because this leaves the seat empty for eight months Governor DeWine said he asked Secretary of State Frank LaRose if could be held any sooner?
"Our team went and looked at other options, if were to sort of contort the timelines we could have maybe got it done just a couple of weeks sooner and it would have cost a lot of money because it would have had two off cycle elections then," LaRose said.
And those elections would have been on dates that voters would not normally have expected. For the field of seven candidates vying for the seat they now have breathing room said News 5 Political Analyst Dr. Tom Sutton of Baldwin Wallace University.
"The advantage to the August - November situation of course is that that does give more advantage for fund raising, developing a campaign etc," Sutton said.
But it also puts it smack dab in the middle of the race for Cleveland mayor which will hold a September primary and November election, much of the city and all of the east side sits in the district.
"It may be that you'll see more of an advantage to a candidate from the west side in the mayor's race because you'll have a lot of candidates from the east side of Cleveland and surrounding suburbs that are in both the mayor's race and the congressional seat," said Sutton.
On March 10, the Senate confirmed Fudge, who has represented parts of Cleveland and Akron in the House since 2008.
According to Ballotpedia, the following candidates have declared their candidacy in the race:
- John Barnes (D), former state representative
- Shontel Brown (D), Cuyahoga County councilwoman
- Jeff Johnson (D), state senator
- Shirley Smith (D), former state senator
- Nina Turner (D), former state senator
- Bryan Flannery (D), former state representative
- Tariq Shabazz (D), U.S. Navy veteran
The following individuals have been discussed as potential candidates by media outlets:
- Jawanza Colvin (D), pastor
- Blaine Griffin (D), Cleveland City councilman
- Dennis Kucinich (D), former U.S. representative
- Emilia Sykes (D), Ohio House minority leader
- Terrence Upchurch (D), state representative
- Sandra Williams (D), state senator
Download the News 5 Cleveland app now for more stories from us, plus alerts on major news, the latest weather forecast, traffic information and much more. Download now on your Apple device here, and your Android device here.