Bob Latta of Ohio Wins House Seat Once Held by Father

Associated Press
Wednesday, December 12, 2007

TOLEDO, Dec. 11 -- Bob Latta, a Republican state representative, was elected Tuesday to fill the seat of an Ohio congressman who died this fall.

Latta defeated Democrat Robin Weirauch in a special election to complete the term of Rep. Paul E. Gillmor (R), who died in a fall at his Arlington townhouse in September.

With 98 percent of precincts reporting, Latta had 57 percent of the vote.

"I hope to continue representing this district in the same honor and integrity of Paul Gillmor and my father before him," Latta said in a statement.

This was Latta's second campaign for the House seat. He first ran for Congress in 1988, trying to replace his father, Del Latta, who represented the northwest Ohio district for 30 years. But Bob Latta lost the Republican primary to Gillmor by 27 votes, and Gillmor retained the seat until his death.

Republicans have held the 5th District since the 1930s. At times, Democrats have all but conceded the seat by spending little money and fielding candidates with limited political experience.

But Democrats had high hopes about Weirauch's chances against the younger Latta. This was her third run for the House, and last year, against Gillmor, she received the biggest share of the vote -- 43 percent -- of any Democrat in the district's history.

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