SHEFFIELD TWP. — The May primary ballot has thinned out since the filing deadline last month.
On Thursday, Eric Kaple, a Willard chiropractor who had been challenging Elyria City Councilman Marcus Madison, D-5th Ward, in the Democratic primary for the right to challenge state Sen. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, dropped out of the race.
Kaple said he hadn’t expected to face a primary opponent and was surprised when Madison filed in his race on the filing deadline. Madison originally planned to run for the seat being vacated by state Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria, who is challenging Lorain County Commissioner Tom Williams, a Republican.
Kaple said he put a lot of thought into whether to run against Madison and determined he didn’t like his chances.
“I came to the conclusion that it would be nearly impossible to win the primary with Marcus being an Elyria city councilman and an established Lorain County politician, and here I am a nobody from Huron County,” he said. “I thought it would be an exercise in futility.”
Kaple’s exit leaves Madison without a primary challenger.
Kaple isn’t alone in bowing out of the primary before a single vote has been cast.
Democrat Robert Fisher, who would have faced U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs, R-Lakeville, in November, has likewise withdrawn his candidacy, said Lorain County Board of Elections records. No other Democrats are in the race, leaving Gibbs unopposed in the fall unless an independent candidate files to run against him before the May primary.
State Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, also will face a clear road to a November victory unless an independent files in his race. He faces no Republican opposition and his sole challenger in the Democratic primary, Carl Whitmore, been disqualified. Elections board Director Paul Adams said Whitmore didn’t have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot.
U.S. Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Toledo, will have a clear path to a primary win in two months now that her opponent in the Democratic primary, Cory Hoffman, has withdrawn.
The Socialist candidate in the race, Susan Purviance, also has removed herself from contention.
Kaptur will face the winner of the Republican primary, which pits Robert Horrocks Jr. against Richard May, in the fall.
One candidate who hadn’t initially been expected to face an opponent in the fall, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, will now likely have one. Democrat Janet Garrett has filed as a write-in candidate in her party’s primary for the right to contest Jordan’s re-election bid in November.