Voters in Sandusky and Seneca counties re-elected a veteran Tuesday, choosing state Rep. Rex Damschroder (R., Fremont) for the 88th House District seat.
Mr. Damschroder defeated Democrat Bill Young, 60, a retired government teacher from Green Springs. In 2010, Mr. Damschroder, 63, was elected to the state House, where he had served from 1995-2003.
“I think we are doing a good job. We’ve got the state’s budget under control; we’re moving in the right direction. I’m happy -- ready to get back to work,” he said.
He said he will continue to focus on “fiscal responsibility,” public safety, and jobs.
“I think, clearly, jobs. All across the board -- jobs is the issue,” he said. “We just have to make this a job-friendly environment so we can keep people working.”
Mr. Young said running a “grass-roots" campaign against a “powerful incumbent” presented challenges but he was pleased with the 44 percent of the vote he captured.
“I was awfully pleased with the reception that we did get,” he said.
Rep. Matt Szollosi (D., Oregon) was leading the 46th House District race. His opponent was Maumee Republican Dave Kissinger. The district includes Maumee, South Toledo, Oregon, and Jerusalem and Springfield townships.
In the 47th House District, Rep. Barbara Sears (R., Monclova Township) was leading Democrat Jeff Bunck, a Monclova Township retired teacher. The district includes parts of Lucas County and most of Fulton County.
Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern, of Catawba Island Township, won the 89th House District race to represent Erie and Ottawa counties. He defeated Republican Donald Janik of Huron. Mr. Redfern said his years of public service and concern for Lake Erie's health helped propel him to victory.
In the 81st House District, Rep. Lynn Wachtmann (R., Napoleon) defeated Montpelier Democrat John Vanover, president of United Steelworkers Local 890L. The district includes Williams, Henry, and Putnam counties and part of Fulton County.
Mr. Wachtmann, 57, wants to focus on lowering the income tax and reigning in spending in his next term.
“I worked hard to be a consistent conservative voice each and every time I’ve served in office, and I think the voters have been very good to me and very supportive,” he said. “It looks like a lot of the people concerned about jobs and things like that came out in heavy numbers.”
State Rep. Randy Gardner (R., Bowling Green) held a lead over Democrat Jeff Bretz of North Baltimore in the 2nd Ohio Senate District seat. The district includes most of Fulton County, western Lucas County, and Wood, Ottawa, and Erie counties.
Mr. Gardner, 54, was first appointed to the House in 1985. He served in the Senate from 2001 to 2008. He then returned to the House, and now it appears he’s on his way back to the Senate.
“It proved to be a challenging Republican year in northwest Ohio and the state. I’m grateful that I was able to receive a substantial number of votes in the Senate,” Mr. Gardner said.
Mr. Gardner said Ohio legislators will face budget challenges in the next couple of months. He said it appears that federal health-care mandates will pose “a potentially significant state budget challenge.”
Republican Tim Brown, 50, of Bowling Green, topped a three-person field for the 3rd House District seat, representing Wood County. He bested Democrat Kelly Wicks, 46, and Libertarian Nathan Eberly, 31, both of Bowling Green. Mr. Brown, a 14-year Wood County commissioner, credited his win to hard work, his message, and Wood County’s economic success.
“We can celebrate winning tonight, but tomorrow the work begins. This economy demands that we remain vigilant,” Mr. Brown said.
In the 26th Senate District, Republican Sen. Dave Burke, of Marysville, led at press time over Democrat Tanyce Addison, 53, a retired teacher from LaRue. The district includes Crawford, Marion, Morrow, Sandusky, Seneca, Union, and Wyandot counties. All counties except Wyandot had reported full election results.
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