Republican voters in the 71st Ohio House District on May 6 will choose the party's candidate in the November general election.

Republican voters in the 71st Ohio House District on May 6 will choose the party's candidate in the November general election.

The primary candidates are James W. Cannon, 38, of Reynoldsburg, and Scott K. Ryan, 49, of Newark.

* Cannon is a captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, working as a medical entomologist and executive officer of the 12th Medical Detachment.

He has a bachelor's of fine arts degree from the College of Mount St. Joseph and is working on a master's degree through the University of Nebraska in Lincoln.

Cannon said decided to run for office after returning from service in Afghanistan.

"When I returned from Afghanistan, I found that many average Americans had completely lost faith in our elected leaders," he said in an email.

"I myself experienced similar doubts. I began to encourage veterans to run for office. Many told me they felt it was an exercise in futility. While veterans are off defending the homeland or supporting humanitarian efforts, they miss out on the opportunities to network and build true party support."

Cannon said he hopes to restore confidence in the political system and lead through action.

"I am not running to win an election, I am running because I believe I can make a difference," he said. "On the campaign trail, it is obvious that people are starving for real leadership. They want to be inspired. I will, and I also hope to inspire other strong leaders to, provide the leadership people are looking for.

"I believe that the term 'selfless service' is more than just words that sound like a good thing to say. They mean something special to both my family and me every time I put on my uniform."

* Ryan is Licking County treasurer and earned a bachelor's of science degree from Miami University.

"I have chosen to run for the Ohio House because I believe my lifelong business-management experience and recent service in government as Licking County treasurer give me a unique and relevant voice in the quest for solutions to our economic and jobs challenges," Ryan said in an email.

"I also feel strongly that our generation has a responsibility to pass on quality opportunities for prosperity to our children and grandchildren.

"The ball has been handed to us and we must collectively ensure that we take care of it and hand it off to those that follow."

The winner of the May 6 primary will face Democrat Ann Rader, 73, of Newark, in the Nov. 4 general election. Rader is running unopposed in the primary.

The winner of the Nov. 4 election will replace Jay Hottinger (R-Newark), who has reached the term limit of eight consecutive years in that position.

The 71st District includes about two-thirds of Licking County.