COLUMBUS — Rep. Cliff Hite (R., Findlay) will likely have to print some change-of-address cards. He received the unofficial nod Wednesday to replace Steve Buehrer in the Ohio Senate representing most of rural northwest Ohio.
Mr. Hite, who just began his third two-year term in the House, received a Senate Republican screening committee's recommendation for appointment to the vacancy in the 1st District created by Mr. Buehrer's recent resignation.
On Monday, Mr. Buehrer began his new job as Gov. John Kasich's Bureau of Workers' Compensation administrator.
The Ohio Senate won't be back in session until early February, so Mr. Hite may have to wait until then for the full Republican caucus to vote on his appointment. The vote is typically a formality since Senate President Tom Niehaus (R., New Richmond) is a member of the screening committee.
Mr. Hite was selected from a pool of five candidates, including fellow Rep. Bruce Goodwin (R., Defiance), after a day of interviews.
“I am honored and humbled to be selected for this opportunity, which will allow me to represent the northwestern Ohio communities where I lived, taught, and coached for 13 years,” Mr. Hite said. “I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues on getting our economy back on track and ensuring our state is a place where businesses can locate and create jobs.”
Other contenders were Travis Jerwers, a Putnam County commissioner; David W. Dodt of Defiance, a retired senior journeyman from GM Powertrain, and Joshua Harpring, of Delta, a political science student at the University of Toledo.
Mr. Buehrer had just begun his second four-year term when he resigned. Mr. Hite will have to run next year for the right to complete the rest of the term.
The Senate district includes all of Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Hancock, Paulding, Williams, Putnam, Hardin, Van Wert counties, and part of Auglaize.
“Cliff Hite knows the many challenges that are facing our state, but he is not afraid to roll up his sleeves and delve into the issues,” Mr. Niehaus said. “His experience in the Statehouse as well as the classroom will be invaluable to the Senate as we work to move Ohio forward.”