Veteran state lawmakers among those in Ohio primary battles

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Two veteran state lawmakers are among the hopefuls facing primary contests as they seek to return to the Ohio House.

Republicans Tom Patton and Larry Householder must emerge victorious from their March 15 races to reach the fall election.

Patton — a term-limited state senator from northeast Ohio — has taken heat recently for calling his female primary opponent “sweetie” and questioning her interest in serving in the Legislature while she is raising young children.

Householder is a former House speaker from eastern Ohio who left Columbus a decade ago due to term limits. At the time, he and several top advisers were under federal investigation for alleged money laundering and irregular campaign practices. The government closed the case without filing charges.

Republicans control both chambers of the Ohio Legislature.