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Ohio state Rep. Emilia Sykes enters House race with map in limbo

Ohio state Rep. Emilia Sykes (D) is jumping into the race for the state’s open 13th Congressional District in a challenge to Max Miller, a former Trump administration official who has the backing of the former president. 

Sykes stepped down from her role as state House minority leader last month, raising speculation about a potential bid for higher office. She announced her candidacy on Tuesday in a tweet. 

“I’m running for Congress to advocate on behalf of Ohio’s families,” Sykes tweeted. “I’ve made it my mission to keep jobs in our state & to expand opportunities for ALL in NE Ohio – not just the wealthy & well connected.” 

Sykes’s announcement came days after the Ohio Supreme Court rejected a Republican-drawn congressional map that would have given the GOP an advantage in 12 of the state’s 15 districts. 

In its decision, the court determined that the new map violated an amendment to the state constitution that prevents mapmakers from favoring one party over another in redistricting.

That decision means that the lines of the 13th District are still in flux. 

Sykes comes from a family of Democratic power players in Akron. She currently occupies the same state House seat that was previously held by both her father and mother, Vernon and Barbara Sykes. 

Her announcement sets up a likely race against Miller, who former President Trump backed last year in a primary matchup against Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, one of 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the Capitol. 

Gonzalez announced in September that he would not seek reelection, making Miller the heavy favorite to succeed him in the Republican-leaning district. But the new congressional map passed by state lawmakers put Miller into a district that includes Democratic-leaning Akron, where Sykes is from, creating the potential for a competitive matchup.

Tags 2022 midterm elections 2022 midterms Anthony Gonzalez Donald Trump Election 2022 Emilia Sykes Max Miller OH-13 Ohio Ohio politics Ohio redistricting

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