Mathews edges Grossmann in GOP House primary, will face Bennett in November

Bennett defeats 17-year-old Cao by wide margin in Democratic primary for same Warren County district

Lebanon Vice Mayor Adam Mathews defeated Mason Councilwoman Kathy Grossmann on Tuesday night in their Republican primary for the 56th Ohio House District seat, according to the Warren County Board of Elections.

With all 87 precincts reporting, the unofficial results show Mathews winning the race against Grossmann 54% to 46%, according to unofficial results from the Warren County Board of Elections.

Mathews and Grossmann, two well-known and experienced city council members, were both hoping to replace state Rep. Paul Zeltwanger who is term-limited this cycle.

Mathews said he “appreciated everyone coming out and working together.”

“It was a great day at the polls and I look forward in taking a unified Republican party into the general election to help strengthen Ohio,” Mathews said. “We’re really glad to bring pro-family, pro-business and pro-life values to Columbus.”

Mathews congratulated everyone who worked on the campaign, saying they knocked on thousands of doors and focused on their goals.

“We focused on real achievements and our legislative goals,” he said.

Democratic primary

In the Democratic primary for House District 56, Joy Bennett of Mason easily beat 17-year-old Sam Cao, also of Mason, by an unofficial vote of 70.5% to 29.5%, with all precincts reporting.

Mathews and Bennett will square off in November’s general election to decide who will represent the district in the statehouse.

“It’s nice to have an election behind us,” Bennett said, adding she was proud of her campaign team. “I’m really grateful to have run in this primary. Sam worked very hard and he brought out the best in both of us during the campaign. The primary made us more prepared for the general election. I’m really excited.”

Looking forward to the race against Mathews in November, Bennett said, “Adam ran a solid campaign and worked hard. I’m looking forward to running against a really good candidate.”

This was the first time since 1992 there was a contested Democratic primary race for a state house seat in Warren County, according to Bethe Goldenfield, county Democratic Party chair. Except for judicial races, Goldenfield said it’s the first time Warren County Democrats has been able to field a full slate of candidates since 1986.

Cao was one of the youngest people to ever run for a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. Cao, a 17-year-old Mason High School senior, will turn 18 in October, about three weeks prior to the Nov. 8 general election when he can legally cast his first vote and hold public office.

State representatives serve two-year terms and will receive a base salary of $69,876 starting in 2023. State representatives receive higher salaries if they serve in a House leadership position or as a committee chair. Representatives can only serve four consecutive terms before sitting out a term.

Other Warren County races

Other winners in Tuesday’s special primary election include:

  • Incumbent state Sen. Steve Wilson for the GOP nomination for the 7th State Senate District seat. Wilson defeated write-in candidate Austin Kaiser of Springboro by a vote of 97.96% to 2.04%.
  • David Dallas in the Democratic nomination for the 7th State Senate District seat. He was unopposed.
  • Paul Zorn in the Democratic nomination for the 55th Ohio House District seat. He was unopposed.
  • William Gallagher in the Democratic state central committeeman seat for the 7th District. He was unopposed.
  • Ron Maag in the Republican state central committeeman seat for the 7th District. Maag defeated three other candidates, Seth Morgan, Steven Thomas and Dawson Smith.
  • Bonnie Dunkelman in the Democratic state committeewoman seat for the 7th District. She was unopposed.
  • Michelle Schneider in the Republican state committeewoman seat for the 7th District. She defeated Lori Viars.

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