Republicans sweep Clark County Statehouse races

Five-month-old Margaret Russell looks around gymnasium at Tecumseh High School as her mother holds her while casting her vote at the election poll there. Bill Lackey/Staff
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Five-month-old Margaret Russell looks around gymnasium at Tecumseh High School as her mother holds her while casting her vote at the election poll there. Bill Lackey/Staff

Republicans whose districts include Clark County have won contests for Ohio House and Senate seats Tuesday night according to final, unofficial results Tuesday night.

State Rep. Kyle Koehler won his seat in the state’s 79th House District, while Republican Bill Dean won a race for the state’s 74th House District. Republican candidate Bob Hackett also defeated his opponent in a bid for the state’s 10th district seat in the Ohio Senate.

Hackett, a former state representative and Madison County commissioner, easily defeated Matthew Kirk, his Democratic opponent from Yellow Springs. The 10th Senate District includes Greene, Clark and Madison Counties.

In the weeks leading up to the election, Hackett had touted his long experience in state government, and said his primary focus would be on improving the state’s business climate. Both Koehler and Hackett said their wins are an indication voters are happy with the direction the state is moving toward.

“People know Ohio’s on the right track,” Hackett said. “We’ve worked hard to reduce taxes, we’ve worked hard to bring jobs back to Ohio and we’re being rewarded today.”

Koehler, of Springfield, also said his experience as a small business owner would would give him an understanding of issues facing the region's employers. Koehler defeated his Democratic opponent Alex Wendt, also of Springfield, to win the two-year term in the Ohio House of Representatives. Wendt is a firefighter and emergency medical technician who argued state cuts to local cities and townships have made it tougher for the state to thrive.

“People recognized I work very hard to represent this district,” Koehler said. “I try to make the right choices and listen to people. Even people who disagree with me I try to spend time hearing what they have to say.”

Dean, a Republican from Xenia, also defeated Barb Niemeyer, his Democratic opponent in the state's 74th House District. Dean, a retired plumber, was seeking to fill Hackett's former seat in the House. The district represents eastern Clark County, southern Greene County and all of Madison County.

“I wish the best for Barb Niemeyer and I look forward to being able to serve the people in Columbus and the district,” Dean said.

Dean had said before Tuesday’s election that he was not initially interested in being a politician, but felt it was his responsibility to serve. As a small business owner, he also said he has been able to create jobs throughout his career.

Niemeyer was running for office for the first time, and said if she had planned to focus on issues like funding for public schools and improving workforce development.

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