Delaware County Prosecutor Carol Hamilton O’Brien has announced her intention to seek U.S. Rep. Pat Tiberi’s soon-to-be vacant seat.
Tiberi, R-Genoa Township, announced that he would be resigning from the House of Representatives in a press release on Wednesday. He said he has not determined a final resignation date but will be leaving Congress by Jan. 31, 2018. Tiberi is leaving the House to become the head of the Ohio Business Roundtable.
On Friday, O’Brien said the idea to run for Congress has been on her mind for years.
“A long time ago, [State Auditor] Dave Yost put this little idea in the back of my head and I said, ‘Well, Pat Tiberi is never going to leave and we don’t want him to leave because he’s so good,’ but I saw the article that said Pat was leaving and a couple people said, ‘Hey, what about this?’” O’Brien said. “The timing is perfect for me.”
O’Brien has been the Delaware County Prosecutor since 2011 and said she thought she’d never leave the position.
“I love being a prosecutor,” O’Brien said. “I honestly never thought I would do anything else. But this came at a good time. I think I can do a good job at it.”
O’Brien said she believes serving as the prosecutor has given her the right type of experience for the job.
“As a county prosecutor you have a wide variety of cases, you have not only criminal sector of cases but you have that civil sector as well,” O’Brien said. “You have to learn to get along with a wide array of people in the community, at the state level. … It teaches you to learn how to work with people to get things done. It’s taught me how to prepare for anything I have to do. It’s hard to walk into a courtroom and win a trial.”
O’Brien said there will be a special primary followed by a special election for the seat, but said the details of those special elections have not been finalized.
Nevertheless, O’Brien said she’s looking forward to the race.
“I’m very, very excited,” O’Brien said. “It is a leap from a local county race to a congressional race. It presents a whole new set of challenges that I have to prepare for. It’s an honor to be considered. I appreciate all the support I’ve received since I floated my name out there (Thursday) night.”
Contact Glenn Battishill at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.