Howland pediatrician Republican Marisha Agana burst onto the local political scene last week with her announcement she will challenge Niles Democrat U.S. Rep. Timothy J. Ryan next year in what's likely to become the newly drawn 13th Congressional District.
Agana filed her paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission during a whirlwind three-day visit to Washington D.C., also last week.
Agana's press secretary, Patricia Brant, called the trip a success and said those congressmen and senators she met with responded positively to her candidacy. ''We had an extremely overwhelming, positive response,'' Brant said.
But before Agana can challenge Ryan, she and Ryan must win the party's nod in the primary election.
At this point, Agana is the only announced Republican, and GOP leaders in Trumbull and Mahoning counties say they haven't heard of anyone interested in stepping into the race.
Jim Graham, a Republican from Cortland, who in 2010 finished second behind Ryan in a three-way race that also included former congressman Jim Traficant, says there is no way he could launch another campaign because he's up to his neck in an electronic medical records project at Humility of Mary Health Partners, his employer.
''I was lucky to get as much time as I needed last year,'' Graham said.
It's unclear who may be considering a GOP run in any of the other counties that make up the new 13th district - parts of Summit, Stark and Portage counties.
''Right now, our understanding is there have not been any other candidates that have announced to run in the Republican primary against her (Agana). That's our understanding,'' Brant said.
Winning the Democratic nomination for Ryan should not be a problem.
Agana came out swinging against Ryan, saying the Democrat is ''a prime example of the problem throughout Congress,'' and his support of higher taxes and burdensome regulations have contributed to sending jobs outside the U.S. and injuring free enterprise.
Ryan campaign spokesman Wiley Runnestrand said Ryan is running for Congress next election but would not comment on the comments made by Agana.
In a September press release, the congressman said he looks forward to running for re-election ''so that I can continue my work advancing the economic accomplishments we've recently seen in northeast Ohio.''
Party down Tuesday night.
The Mahoning County Democratic and Republican parties are having Election Night parties at their respective party headquarters: Democrats, 3321 Mahoning Ave., Youngstown, and Republicans, 621 Boardman Canfield Road, Youngstown.
The public is invited to attend both.
Trumbull County Democratic Party chair Dan Polivka said there are talks to have a get-together in Trumbull. Trumbull GOP members are not because the people who would pull it together will all be working Election Night at the elections board.