Democrats have two big names running for office, details on the big chip project in New Albany are coming soon and the omicron variant is leading some nursing homes to halt admissions.
We break down what it all means on this week's episode of Ohio Politics Explained.
It's a podcast from the USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau where we catch you up on the state's political news in 15 minutes or less. This week, host Laura Bischoff was joined by reporter Haley BeMiller.
1. Emilia Sykes is running for Congress.
Former Ohio House Minority leader Emilia Sykes announced she's running for Congress in what is now the 13th Congressional District. Sykes, D-Akron, who hails from a political family, cast herself a fighter who could leverage her bipartisan work in Columbus to find common ground with congressional Republicans.
"People feel alone," she said. "They feel like there’s no one thinking of them, and it’s why people leave Ohio. Our Ohioans are our greatest asset, and we should be valuing them and adjusting to their needs."
GOP mapmakers drew a new 13th Congressional District that includes Akron, Medina and parts of suburban Cleveland after U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez announced he wouldn't seek reelection in the current 16th Congressional District. Under that map, the 13th would be one of the most competitive in the state with a slight edge for Democrats, according to the popular redistricting website Dave's Redistricting.
But whether the district retains its proposed form remains to be seen. The Ohio Supreme Court struck down the maps and directed lawmakers to redraw them.
2. Obergefell: Why does that name sound familiar?
Jim Obergefell grew up in Sandusky, lived most of his life in Cincinnati and returned home last year. He announced this week he's running as a Democrat for the Ohio House.
But you're more likely to know his name because he was the lead plaintiff in Obergefell v. Hodges, the U.S. Supreme Court landmark case that legalized same sex marriage nationwide in 2015.
Obergefell said he is running for office to provide jobs and opportunities, protect Lake Erie and make sure Ohioans have access to health care and quality public education.
Given his national profile, Obergefell would be well-positioned to gain attention and raise serious money for his campaign.
3. How big is the big deal in New Albany?
Political VIPs are expected to make a big announcement Friday in Newark. Intel confirmed Friday morning it is planning to build a $20 billion semiconductor plant in Licking County.
The semiconductor plant would be a giant economic development prize.
The Dispatch has reported that Intel plans to build two plants on 3,190 acres the city of New Albany is annexing from Jersey Township. The annexation footprint is twice the size of Ohio State University's main campus. The plant will employ 3,000 workers and is expected to generate thousands of additional jobs.
4. Some nursing homes halt admissions.
The highly-contagious omicron variant has some nursing homes in Ohio and across the nation halting admissions. In turn, that means people are getting stranded at already-overwhelmed hospitals waiting for spots to open up.
There seems to be no end in sight, with both sides ravaged by the pandemic. Ohio hospitals are dealing with record levels of COVID-19 hospitalizations, while nursing homes are too understaffed to accept new patients, especially COVID-positive ones.
Listen to "Ohio Politics Explained" on Spotify, Apple, Google Podcasts and TuneIn Radio. The episode is also available by clicking the link at the top of the article.
The USA TODAY Network Ohio Bureau serves the Columbus Dispatch, Cincinnati Enquirer, Akron Beacon Journal and 18 other affiliated news organizations across Ohio.
This article originally appeared on The Columbus Dispatch: Ohio Politics Explained: Intel chip factory, U.S. House races, omicron