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DePizzo departs race for Senate

Chris DePizzo, a Republican who filed paperwork last month to run next year for the Ohio Senate’s 32nd District seat, has decided not to seek the position.

In a Wednesday Facebook post, DePizzo wrote he wouldn’t be a candidate for elected office in 2020.

“With the blessing of our first child, expected in December, it has become increasingly apparent at this time my wife and I cannot devote ourselves fully to campaigning,” he wrote. “To allow others to step up, we have decided it is best for us to formally announce that I will not be seeking elected office in 2020.”

DePizzo, who last year lost to U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan for Congress in the 13th District, wrote that since that election, many people in northeast Ohio have encouraged him to seek office again.

“They know we need a change, a new vision and new leadership and I agree with them as much today as I did when we launched my bid for Congress two years ago,” he wrote.

The district includes all of Trumbull and Ashtabula counties and a portion of Geauga County.

DePizzo lives in Cuyahoga Falls, outside of the district. If he was going to run, he had to move into the district by Nov. 3, one year before the 2020 general election.

Republican Sandy O’Brien, a former 12-year Ashtabula County auditor, is looking at running, said Kevin Wyndham, Trumbull County Republican Party chairman.

“I haven’t heard anybody else” is interested, he said. “We’re evaluating all of the candidates.”

O’Brien, who hasn’t filed paperwork to create a campaign committee or filed nominating petitions, couldn’t be reached Wednesday to comment.

She’s unsuccessfully run for statewide office in 2006, 2010 and 2018.

Incumbent state Sen. Sean J. O’Brien, D-Bazetta, said he’s running next year for a second four-year term.

Dec. 18 is the filing deadline for Democrats and Republicans to file for the March 17, 2020, primary.

When asked about DePizzo’s decision, O’Brien said: “I haven’t thought that far down the road. I have to see how the primary turns out and then focus on the general election.”

O’Brien said: “We’ve got a lot going on in the district. I haven’t focused on (a challenger). We have some time.”

O’Brien, the Senate assistant minority whip, in 2016 beat Republican Robert J. Allen 56.4 percent to 43.6 percent to win the seat. The position was open because Democrat Capri Cafaro of Liberty couldn’t seek re-election under the state’s term-limits law. That same law would prohibit O’Brien from seeking re-election in 2024 if he wins the 2020 race.

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