COLUMBUS — Oregon City Councilman Mike Sheehy became state Rep. Mike Sheehy on Wednesday, and there was no time to waste before he was casting his first votes.
He found himself on the losing end of a fight to save red-light cameras and then joined in unanimous support of Ohio’s latest attempt to crack down on human trafficking. Today, he will have to cast a critical vote on the state’s next $62 billion, two-year budget.
In any circumstance, he promised his colleagues that he wouldn’t become part of the problem in government as he invoked the name of one his predecessors, Barney Quilter, a former speaker pro tem in the Ohio House.
“It was with that kind of commitment and cooperation on both sides of the aisle that brings about progress and brings about the business of the people and the wishes of the people,” he said.
“I really admire the legislative process,” the retired 30-year CSX Railroad conductor said. “There are legislatures throughout this land that are terribly polarized. I will not be part of that polarization.”
His wife Sandy held the Bible and his daughter Kate stood at his side as Mr. Sheehy took his oath on the floor of the chamber. He was selected by the House Democratic caucus to complete the year and half left in the term of Matt Szollosi.
Mr. Szollosi left his House seat, Democratic leadership post, Toledo law practice, and Oregon home to take the job as executive director of a new skilled trades advocacy group in Columbus.
Mr. Sheehy earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo and served in the U.S. Army from 1972 to 1975.
The 46th District stretches from Jerusalem Township and Oregon in eastern Lucas County through parts of East and South Toledo pick up Maumee, Holland, and Springfield Township to the west.
Republicans outnumber Democrats 60-39 in the chamber.