Ohio House primary involving ex-speaker has narrowed to 2

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Former Ohio House Speaker Larry Householder’s primary race for his old seat has narrowed to two candidates, though three still appear on the ballot.

The local elections board says Randal Almendinger, a party insider well known in Licking County, withdrew his name from contention in late January for the 72nd Ohio House district that includes Perry, Coshocton and parts of Licking counties. That was about six weeks after the business owner’s last-minute entry into the contest.

Crowded primaries tend to divert votes from the front runner.

The move leaves Householder facing Coshocton city Council President Cliff Biggers for the Republican nomination on Tuesday.

Licking County Elections Director Gloria Carson says notices with Almendinger’s withdrawal are being issued to those voting early and will also be posted at polling places.