COLUMBUS - A state Senate screening committee will interview candidates, including Putnam County Commissioner Travis Jerwers, on Wednesday for appointment to Sen. Steve Buehrer's seat representing much of rural northwest Ohio.
The Senate district includes all of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Hancock, Paulding, Williams, Putnam, Hardin, Van Wert counties, and part of Auglaize.
The committee, made up of the four Republican leaders and three rank-and-file members, is expected to interview five candidates who have submitted their names for consideration.
Buehrer was sworn into his second four-year term on Monday, but he will step down from his Senate seat effective Sunday to take over the next day as incoming Gov. John Kasich's administrator of the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation.
The committee will make a recommendation to the full Senate Republican Caucus, which will then vote to name Buehrer's replacement on the floor.
That vote has not been announced, but the Senate is expected to be in session for one day next week on Tuesday.
The appointee will have to stand for voter approval in the 1st District in 2012 for the right to finish the rest of Buehrer's term.
The five candidates include Ohio Reps. Bruce Goodwin, R-Defiance and Cliff Hite, R-Findlay, whose House districts are wholly within Mr. Buehrer's 1st Senate District; Jerwers, a Putnam County commissioner; David W. Dodt of Defiance, a retired senior journeyman from GM Powertrain, and Joshua Harpring, of Delta, a political science student at the University of Toledo.