Who's going to fill Pat Tiberi's open congressional seat: A political lifer? A teacher? A Trumper? Eighteen candidates are angling for votes.

In early 2018, Ohio Republican Pat Tiberi left Congress, vacating the 12th District seat he held for 17 years. The political floodgates opened, names were floated, candidates courted, and a curious assortment of 18 contenders emerged.

Herb Asher, a professor emeritus of political science at Ohio State, says it's not often that a congressional seat comes open, rarer still midterm. Hence the horde of hopefuls, which includes seasoned officeholders and fledgling pols—a teacher, an economist, an architect, a nurse, a farmer. It's a deep pool on both sides of the aisle, and Asher expects a competitive race for the Republican stronghold because Democrats are making a serious push for control of the U.S. House.

Front-runners from both parties have fundraising ability and name recognition, Asher says, like Franklin County Recorder Danny O'Connor, Delaware County Prosecutor Carol O'Brien, former Franklin County Sheriff Zach Scott and state Sen. Kevin Bacon. Asher thinks the outsiders will be at a tremendous disadvantage, but he points to a couple of upstarts with a shot: John Russell, a farmer who earned support from former Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy, and Liberty Township trustee Melanie Leneghan, who has the endorsement of conservative Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan and is aligning herself with President Donald Trump.

In anticipation of the May 8 primary, we've assembled an overview of the whole field.* Who will remain upright by the end of the race?

John Adams

Republican

Galloway

Business owner, industrial chemicals

Ed Albertson

Democrat

Newark

Corporate sales and leadership training

Kevin Bacon

Republican

Westerville

State senator

Troy Balderson

Republican

Zanesville

State senator

Lawrence Cohen

Republican

New Albany

Corporate attorney, accountant

Jon Halverstadt

Republican

Worthington

Realtor

Tim Kane

Republican

Dublin

Economist, author

Melanie Leneghan

Republican

Powell

Liberty Township trustee

Joe Manchik

Green Party

Reynoldsburg

Business owner, telecommunications

Pat Manley

Republican

Columbus

Business owner, architecture

Carol O'Brien

Republican

Delaware

Delaware County prosecutor

Danny O'Connor

Democrat

Columbus

Franklin County recorder

Jackie Patton

Democrat

Columbus

Nurse, school district wellness coordinator

John Peters

Democrat

Newark

Teacher

John Russell

Democrat

Galena

Farmer, business owner

Zach Scott

Democrat

Columbus

Former Franklin County sheriff

Mick Shoemaker Jr.

Republican

Sunbury

Business owner

Doug Wilson

Democrat

Mansfield

Semi-retired health care professional

*The candidates listed here are those certified by the Franklin County Board of Elections to appear on the ballot.

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