ST. CLAIRSVILLE - Four candidates beat Friday's deadline and filed petitions to seek Ohio's 6th District congressional seat in 2012, according to information at the Columbiana County Board of Elections.
Candidates had until 4 p.m. Friday to submit paperwork to get their names on the March 6 primary election ballot.
Incumbent Rep. Bill Johnson, a Marietta resident, filed for the Republican primary and faces a GOP challenge from Victor Smith of Waterford, Ohio.
On the Democratic ticket, former Rep. Charles Wilson of St. Clairsville filed his candidacy, as did Cas Adulewicz of Steubenville.
The deadline for most races in Ohio's March 6 primary election was Dec. 7. At that time, however, a second and separate primary election for congressional and presidential candidates was set for June 12 as questions about congressional redistricting were resolved.
But the Ohio General Assembly voted on Dec. 15 to move the second June primary back to the March 6 date. That move prompted Secretary of State Jon Husted to declare all filings for Ohio's congressional races submitted before Dec. 16 null and void, and to set a Dec. 30 filing deadline for congressional candidates.
All local counties in East Ohio are included in the new 6th District established by this year's redistricting in the state, and candidates for the office file with the elections board in Columbiana County - the county in the district with the most registered voters.
Ohio's new 6th District is among the largest in the nation. It begins in southern Mahoning County, then extends south and west - taking in Columbiana, Carroll, Jefferson, Harrison, Guernsey, Belmont, Noble, Monroe, Washington, Meigs, Gallia and Jackson counties, as well as parts of Scioto, Athens and Muskingum counties.
The filing fee for the office was $85, and major party candidates had to collect and submit at least 50 valid signatures from registered voters in their congressional district. Candidates' names won't officially appear on the ballot until their petitions are certified by the Columbiana County Board of Elections.