Clintonville Area Commission Chairman Kristopher Keller will face another figure familiar to neighborhood residents when he runs for the 24th Ohio House District seat as a Democrat in 2016.

Clintonville Area Commission Chairman Kristopher Keller will face another figure familiar to neighborhood residents when he runs for the 24th Ohio House District seat as a Democrat in 2016.

Ohio Sen. Jim Hughes (R-Columbus) confirmed last week that he will seek to return to the House, vying for the same seat Keller announced one day earlier he would seek.

Hughes, a member of the Clintonville Rotary Club, said he cannot run again for his 16th Senate District seat due to term limits. Hughes served in the Ohio House from 2000-08.

"Both are tremendous honors to serve in," he said of the two chambers. "I love being able to help people with their problems and to be able to write good laws."

Keller, who has a chiropractic office on Morse Road, announced in a Dec. 8 email that he had been approached by the Ohio House Democratic Caucus about running for the seat currently held by Republican Stephanie Kunze of Hilliard.

According to The Columbus Dispatch, Kunze is expected to run for the 16th Senate District, most likely against four-term state Rep. Cheryl Grossman (R-Grove City). The same Nov. 11 story indicated Hughes planned a return to the House by running for the 24th District seat.

"After a lot of consideration and discussion with a number of current and former members of the Ohio House, with my wife and others familiar with the political process in Ohio, I confirmed with the caucus leadership ... that I would be willing to run," Keller wrote in his announcement. "I do not foresee any change in my commitment and involvement in the CAC."

In an interview last week, Keller talked about how he reached his decision and discussed why he had not intended to remain on the area commission after his current term expires in June.

"The internal process was asking myself why would I want to do this," he said. "I'm getting to the point in life where I'm looking at what I'm going to do after work, and individuals have all sorts of options: taking it easy, finding another line of work. I've been very interested in studying nonviolent communication and plan to be a trainer in that, but when this opportunity came along, I just felt energized by the thought of finding another way to, No. 1, serve the community, and No. 2, to bring stability and compassion into politics on a broader level.

"I think that's something that's really needed."

As for his plans not to seek another term as the CAC's District 8 representative, Keller said becoming a certified trainer in nonviolent communication can take two or three years and involves travel to Seattle three or four times a year.

For his part, Hughes said he has been too busy with the legislative session that just concluded last week to give much thought to the opponents he might face in running for the 24th District, either in the primary or the general election.

"I'll just look forward to a spirited campaign," he added. "I will be focusing on my record as well as jobs and economic development, as well as on education."

The 24th District encompasses the northern portion of Clintonville -- mainly north of Cooke Road -- as well as parts of Upper Arlington, Hilliard and Brown, Prairie and Pleasant townships.