PERRY COUNTY, OH (WCMH)- One month ago Friday, Larry Householder was arrested by federal authorities and accused of taking part in a $60 million bribery scheme.
The House of Representatives removed Householder as its House Speaker, but he remains the representative for the 72nd District. Until his arrest, he was running unopposed in November. Now several people have come forward and filed as write-in candidates for the spot.
As of Friday, five people have put their hat in the ring, all of them arre trying to unseat the former House Speaker.
This group includes one of the first candidates to file, Jay Conrad. The former marine was born in Lancaster, Ohio. On his website describes himself as “a proud blue-collar worker, and is passionate about serving his community.”
“We’re such a small district, we’re mostly rural cities and a lot of times we get forgotten and without any representation we don’t get anything,” said Conrad.
Two college students have also filed to be write-in candidates. Kaitlyn Clark identifies as a conservative and says she’ll use communication to help her constituents.
“You can really talk to your government, you can talk to your officials, you can talk to your legislators and be heard, feel heard and understood,” said Clark.
Another college student, Tyler Maple, filed on Friday. He believes his youth will be an advantage as he tries to give more young voters a voice.
“Majority of young voters, who quite frankly don’t even get out and vote let alone write-in someone’s names. I mean they feel like their voices aren’t being heard by either party,” said Maple.
Robert Leist is also in the running. The Coshocton native says he has some libertarian views and embodies what the district looks like.
“I’ve worked a blue-collar job for 35 years. I’m relatable,” he said. “There’s been times where I’ve had to go pay check to pay check.”
Another recent candidate is Marci McCaulay. McCaulay is a democrat and said after being happily retired, she decided to run so that constituents know they have a choice besides Householder this November.
“The most important thing for me is to educate people about the importance of having this voice and representation but also that they have a choice,” said McCaulay.
The deadline to file as a write-in candidate is Monday, August 24. After that the, County Board of Elections will certify candidates and release an official list.
Come election day, if someone would like to vote for one of these candidates, they will need to write their name on the ballot. Election officials say spelling does not need to be perfect and they will normally accept a first or last name.