Thursday, Aug 16, 2018
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Eleven years later, Jim Hoops returns to Ohio House

COLUMBUS — Jim Hoops proved Wednesday there is life after Ohio’s term limits.

Eleven years after being shown the door, the former state representative returned on Wednesday to succeed state Sen. Robert McColley (R., Napoleon) in the 81st District.

There was also an air of familiarity with the selection to fill a second Ohio House of Representatives vacancy in the nearby 87th District. Riordan McClain of Upper Sandusky, the son of former state Rep. Jeff McClain, was picked by fellow Republicans.

Both vacancies were tied to sexual-misconduct allegations.

The game of political musical chairs began in the Senate’s 1st District when state Sen. Cliff Hite (R., Findlay) resigned after a sexual harassment complaint was filed against him. That led to Mr. McColley’s Senate appointment and subsequently Mr. Hoops’ return.

“I looked forward to serving the district then,” he said. “It’s changed a little bit. Great people up there. ... The one thing I remember from being here 11 years ago is the passion that each one of you has. I’m one of 99 [House members] out of the 11 million people here in the state of Ohio, and we have the opportunity do some great things here.”

Currently associate vice president for strategic initiatives at Northwest State Community College and a former Henry County auditor, Mr. Hoops served in the Ohio House from 1999 to 2006. He’s been away for more than eight years, allowing him to restart the term-limits clock.

The 81st includes all of Henry, Putnam, and Williams counties plus Fulton’s southeast corner.

The 87th District vacancy was created by the resignation of freshman state Rep. Wes Goodman (R., Cardington) after he admitted to sexual misconduct that occurred in his state office. That created the opening for the younger Mr. McClain.

After the embarrassment of Mr. Goodman’s exit, it may not have been surprising the screening committee that unanimously recommended him to the full House Republican caucus was swayed by his emphasis on family.

“I hope to honor my family, my God, and the great state of Ohio in all that I do here,” Mr. McClain said. “I’ve committed myself to being the best representative I can to make the state great.”

He is director of finance and customer service at Doc Investments LLC.

The district comprises all of Wyandot, Crawford, and Morrow counties plus northern Marion County and a southwest sliver of Seneca.

Contact Jim Provance at jprovance@theblade.com or 614-221-0496.

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