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Shake-Up in the Race for Ohio House District 13 Seat

Republican candidate Matthew Deibel unexpectedly withdraws from the race; John Zappala nominated to take his place in run against incumbent Nickie Antonio.

The Republican Party has nominated a new candidate for the  after the first candidate dropped out of the race and moved to North Dakota to work in an oilfield.

Lakewood resident will replace Matthew Deibel, who dropped out of the contest last month and moved out of Ohio.

Zappala will square off Nov. 6 against incumbent for the Ohio House seat. 

Brent Lawler, of the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections, said that the Republican Party had until Aug. 13 to nominate a replacement. The party did so on July 9, tapping Zappala for the contest.

Lawler said the nomination — while unusual — followed the rules of the Ohio Revised Code.

“I don’t recall ever seeing a withdrawal like this,” he said, adding that no explanation was given for Deibel dropping out of the race. “They don’t need to tell us that.”

Zappala admits that he’s a long-shot, in a district that’s largely controlled by Democrats.

“I’ve said it before, I don’t think Jesus Christ could get elected in this county unless he was a Democrat,” he said. 

Zappala lost the on , and also ran unsuccessfully in November 2010 for a seat on the newly formed county council.

Zappala doesn’t mind the underdog role. At his , he wore shorts, a sweatshirt and workman boots — he had taken time off from his workday to attend the debate.

He said he knows he’s got his work cut out in the race for the Ohio House 13th District seat, but wants to be able to give voters an option in the ballot booth.

“I hate when Democrats walk into seats uncontested,” he said. “I enjoy the dialogue.”

Lkwd44107 August 16, 2012 at 04:40 PM
Well, when you come to a debate wearing shorts, sweatshirt and workman boots. What's that saying to Lakewood Citizens? Putting on a pair of pants and wearing a clean shirt and tie would be nice. Maybe he would actually get more votes.

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