updated 8/15/2006 2:15:03 PM ET 2006-08-15T18:15:03

The Republican primary to choose a replacement for U.S. Rep. Bob Ney on the November ballot will take place Sept. 14, the secretary of state's office said Tuesday.

Ney announced last week he was quitting the race, citing the strain of an intensifying corruption investigation that has focused for months on his dealings with disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff. Ney denies wrongdoing and has not been charged.

So far, state Sen. Joy Padgett of Coshocton is the only person who has said she will seek the GOP nomination. The winner of the primary will face Democrat Zack Space in the Nov. 7 general election.

Hopefuls have only until Thursday to collect 50 valid signatures of registered GOP voters in the district to qualify for the ballot.

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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