Last updated: August 25. 2013 12:58AM - 38 Views

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COLUMBUS -- A panel of five northwest Ohio state representatives will begin interviewing candidates to replace Rep. Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, next Monday, and his replacement is expected to be named later in the week.

Hite was appointed to the vacant 1st District Senate seat, replacing Steve Buehrer, who was named administrator of the State Workers' Compensation Bureau by Gov. John Kasich. Hite will take over the Senate seat next week.

Those interested in replacing Hite as representative of the 76th House District must provide a letter of interest by 5 p.m. Friday to House Speaker William Batchelder at 77 S. High St., 14th Floor, Columbus, Ohio 43215. Applicants may also e-mail a letter to Batchelder at District69@ohr.state.oh.us.

Batchelder, R-Medina, and members of the House Republican Caucus announced the formation of a screening panel Wednesday.

Rep. Matt Huffman, R-Lima, will chair the screening panel and will be joined by Reps. Lynn Wachtmann, R-Napoleon, John Adams, R-Sidney, Barbara Sears, R-Sylvania, and Jeff McClain, R-Upper Sandusky.

"I am very pleased that five of our caucus members from northwest Ohio will lead this screening panel," Batchelder said. "I know that the panelists will engage in a thoughtful review of the unique qualifications of each applicant for the 76th House District."

The panel will begin applicant interviews Monday at an undetermined location in the 76th House District. The district includes Hancock, Hardin and part of Auglaize County.

A full vote will be taken by the Republican caucus on Tuesday afternoon with the likely appointment to take place during a House session the following day.

Hite was elected to a third term in the House last November. He will serve in the Senate seat through 2012, when a special election will be held to fill the balance of Buehrer's four-year term, which extends through 2014.

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