Replacing Portman

Democrats looking for a candidate

Democrats are looking for a candidate to run for the House seat that will soon be vacated by Republican congressman Rob Portman.

Portman has been nominated to be the Bush administration's trade representative and could resign from Congress by this summer to take that job. His southwest Ohio district is predominantly Republican. Three Republicans are already in the race to succeed him, but no Democrats. The chairman of the Hamilton County Democratic Party - Tim Burke - says the party is talking with several potential candidates. Burke said they include state Representative Todd Book of Portsmouth and Cincinnati lawyer Paul Hackett.

The Republicans already running are Hamilton County commissioner Pat DeWine, state Representative Tom Brinkman and former state Representative Jean Schmidt.