COLUMBUS: Democrat Zack Milkovich pulled off an upset in unseating state Rep. John Otterman, D-Akron, in Tuesday's primary.
''We're waiting for the final results, but we're working hard and being cautious,'' Milkovich said Tuesday evening.
Milkovich said he was able to defeat Otterman because he connected with district voters who believe government is not listening to them.
''We're going to bring the voice back to the people,'' Milkovich said.
He will have to defeat Republican Charles Lasher of Akron in the fall.
Otterman's father, Robert, represented the district in the Ohio House before his son.
The Otterman-Milkovich primary battle was one of six local races in which the outcome established the lineup for the November general election.
In other contests, Democrats, Republicans and third-party candidates faced no opposition.
One state Senate seat was in play Tuesday.
Sen. Kevin Coughlin, R-Cuyahoga Falls, is leaving the legislature because of term limits. Democrat Frank C. Comunale of Akron bested Tamela Lee of Fairlawn to run against Republican Frank LaRose, also of Fairlawn.
In a district that includes parts of southern Summit and Portage counties, Republican Todd M. McKenney of Akron won the chance to take on sophomore state Rep. Stephen Dyer, D-Green, in the fall.
McKenney defeated Nick Skeriotis of Mogadore.
Interestingly, Dyer is a former Akron Beacon Journal reporter whose editor was McKenney's brother, Mitch, who now teaches at Kent State.
Former Summit County Prosecutor Lynn Slaby will attempt to unseat state Rep. Brian Williams, D-Akron, after easily brushing aside Republican Lance Reed of Copley in the primary. Libertarian David S. Finley of Macedonia will also be on the ballot.
In Portage County, in a Democratic field of three, Kathleen Clyde defeated fellow Kent residents Sean Buchanan and Rick Hawksley in her effort to succeed state Rep. Kathleen Chandler, D-Kent, who also faces term limits.
Clyde will be challenged by Republican W. Roak Zeller, also of Kent, and Constitution Party candidate Daniel Cartwright of Garrettsville in November.
In eastern Stark County, state Rep. Mark Okey, D-Carrollton, faced a primary challenge from Brian K. Simeone of Alliance. The results were not available at press time.
The winner will attempt to hold the district against Republican Michael Foit of Amsterdam.
There was no nail-biting at this point for the rest of the legislative field. Although many candidates were unopposed in the primary, there will be considerable attention given to general election races in the area this fall.
In Summit County, for example, three Hudson residents will vie for the 42nd Ohio House seat now held by Democratic state Rep. Mike Moran.
Moran is a freshman lawmaker who was targeted by Republicans in 2008 and can expect the same this year from Kristina Daley Roegner.
The race also features Libertarian candidate John E. Hoover.
In Stark County, J. Kirk Schuring and Scott Oelslager are attempting to evade the term-limit tag by jumping to the other chamber.
Schuring, a state senator, will match up against a fellow Canton resident, Democrat Andrew Haines, to fill Oelslager's House seat.
Oelslager, from North Canton, will try to stay in the legislature by returning to the Ohio Senate, but first he must dispatch Democrat Richard D. Reinbold Jr. from Canton.
Todd vs. Todd
Two Todds will square off against each other in the 50th Ohio House District. Freshman state Rep. Todd Snitchler, R-Uniontown, goes up against Democrat Todd D. Bosley of Louisville.
Another freshman lawmaker, state Rep. Stephen D. Slesnick, D-Canton, will have to defeat Republican Travis Secrest of Canton for a second two-year term.
House Minority Leader Bill Batchelder, R-Medina, has won election after election in his district since the '60s, save for a period when he left the legislature because of term limits.
Democrat Jack Schira from Brunswick will try once again to defeat Batchelder, but the minority leader will be more focused on helping his fellow Republicans recapture the majority in the Ohio House and perhaps achieve a personal goal of finally being elected House speaker.
House Finance Committee chairman, state Rep. Vernon Sykes, D-Akron, will be opposed by Republican Josh Sines and Libertarian Kurtis S.F. Liston, both of Akron. The seat has been held by a Sykes since the early '80s.
And then there is state Rep. Ron Amstutz, R-Wooster. He faced no opposition in the primary and no candidate is running against him in the fall.