In the end, few of the Ohio statehouse races were close on Tuesday, though some were extremely hard fought in a year when Republicans will try to preserve their heavy majority in the Ohio House and Senate.
Winners in some of the more high profile local races included State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, who turned back a challenge from Jocelyn Smith of Fairborn in the 73rd Ohio House Republican primary.
State Rep. Niraj Antani, R-Miamisburg, fended off a two-person challenge in the 42nd House Republican primary and will face Miamisburg Democrat and newcomer Zach Dickerson in November.
In the 43rd House Republican primary, Germantown pastor Jeffrey Todd Smith defeated Clayton Councilman Kenneth Henning, and 24-year-old Arcanum businesswoman Jena Powell won the crowded Republican primary in the 80th, the region’s most expensive statehouse race.
Here’s a look at Tuesday’s winners and losers, according to the Ohio Secretary of State’s final, unofficial results.
7th Senate (Warren County and part of Hamilton County)
Incumbent state Sen. Steve Wilson, R-Maineville, beat Brad Lamoreaux of Lebanon in the Republican primary 57 percent to 43 percent.
“What (Tuesday’s primary win) means to me is what I’ve been able to do in these two years is appreciated by the constituents of the 7th District,” Wilson said
He will face off against Democrat Sara Bitter of Loveland, who had no primary challenger.
39th House (Most of Dayton and Jefferson Twp.)
Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn, D-Dayton, will hold on to his seat representing in the Ohio General Assembly after handily winning Tuesday’s primary election. No Republican filed in the heavily Democratic district, assuring Strahorn’s election to another two-year term.
Strahorn won with 80 percent of the vote against 20 percent for Walter J. Hickman Jr. of Dayton.
40th House (Huber Heights, Vandalia, Englewood and parts of Dayton, Riverside, Union and Butler and Clay townships)
Wright State University lecturer Ryan Taylor of Butler Twp. will face off in November against Montgomery County Sheriff Phil Plummer, who was unopposed in the Republican primary.
Taylor won the Democratic nomination with 69 percent of the vote over Albert Griggs Jr. of Huber Heights, who received 31 percent. “I’m here to make a difference and advocate for fellow Ohioans in Columbus,” Taylor said.
42nd House (Moraine, West Carrollton, Miamisburg, Germantown and part of Centerville, and Washington, Miami and German townships)
Antani received 63 percent of the vote, Miamisburg Vice Mayor Sarah M. Clark got 28 percent and Marcus Rech of Miamisburg received 9 percent in the Ohio 42nd House district.
“I’m very happy to have won with a strong majority despite a three-person race,” Antani said. “My opponents worked very hard and tried to make it a competitive election. My message and record resonated with voters. I think they’ve taken a look at what I’ve done over the last three and a half years and delivered results for the district using my conservative principles and I look forward to making them proud in the general election.”
Dickerson received 57 percent and Autumn J. Kern of Miamisburg had 43 percent of the vote in the Democratic Primary.
“I appreciate that my message about putting civility and bipartisanship back into politics is one that resonated with people,” said Dickerson. “People like me that are moderate (look) at what’s happening in politics, with people fighting and the obstruction, the partisanship and we don’t feel like we have a voice.”
43rd House (Western Montgomery County, all of Preble County)
Smith received 53 percent of the vote in Ohio’s 43rd House district against 47 percent for Henning, who won in the Montgomery County part of the district but lost in Preble County.
Smith will now face Montgomery County Commissioner Dan Foley, who was unchallenged in the Democratic primary.
Reached Tuesday night Smith said he was humbled by the results.
62nd House (Springboro, Franklin, Carlisle, Waynesville and most of northern and eastern Warren County)
Rep. Scott Lipps, R-Franklin, held off challenger Daniel Kroger of Springboro to win the Republican nomination for the 62nd Ohio House District.
Lipps received 61 percent of the vote and Kroger got 39 percent. Democrat Jim Staton of Springboro was unopposed.
73rd House (Beavercreek, Fairborn, Yellow Springs, Bellbrook and surrounding western Greene County townships)
Perales overcame salacious allegations in his Republican primary race against Smith , taking 80 percent of the vote to Smith’s 20 percent..
“I feel fortunate to have family, friends and all these supporters that went out today and voted,” Perales said after Tuesday’s outcome was clear. “The fact is the people spoke. It’s a solid victory.”
Perales’ win comes after a tough campaign that included allegations of sexual misconduct and extortion.
“Right now, I have no comment,” Smith said Tuesday night. “I’m just sitting back and spending time with my family.”
Perales will face Democrat Kim McCarthy, a first-time candidate from Sugarcreek Twp., who was unopposed in Tuesday’s Democratic primary.
Smith has accused Perales of forcefully kissing, choking and fondling her in 2015.
Perales, who is married, said he had no intimate physical contact with Smith but that they had a brief, “inappropriate” consensual relationship in which he sent sexually-oriented texts and she sent topless photos. Smith denies sending Perales topless photos.
In early April, Perales filed a complaint with Fairborn Police accusing Smith of extortion after she threatened to release documentation of her allegations if Perales did not resign from his House seat and withdraw from the race. Madison County Prosecutor Stephen J. Pronai will serve as special prosecutor in the case.
Last week Smith released additional texts she said came from Perales but said she is not extorting him.
Perales said he always felt that he would win and that voters would see past Smith’s allegations and look at his record as their representative in Columbus.
“They’re not interested in scintillating information. They want somebody that is prepared to do the work for them in the statehouse,” Perales said. “This is phase one and we have a big phase two in November.”
80th House (All of Miami County and southern Darke County)
Powell won nearly 50 percent of the votes in the Republican primary, and will face write-in Democrat Scott R. Zimmerman of Troy in the General Election.
She emerged from a crowded field with a conservative message that stressed her experience running a small business.
“When we have high taxes, high regulations, it puts a burden on our small businesses,” Powell said after her win. “We want to create an environment where they can thrive.”
John W. “Bud” O’Brien of Troy came in second with 21 percent. J.D. Winteregg of Troy was third with 19 percent and George H. Lovett of Tipp City was fourth with 11 percent.
The four Republicans spent big money to try and fill the seat now held by State. Rep. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, who is running for the Ohio Senate.
Nearly a quarter of a million dollars was spent during the primary.
84th House (Northern Darke, most of Shelby and Auglaize counties and all of Mercer County)
Susan Manchester of Lakeview defeated her two Republican opponents in the 84th House race, including the nephew of the incumbent, State Rep. Keith Faber, R-Celina, who is running for state auditor. Manchester won by receiving 37 percent of the vote, Travis Faber of Celina had 32 percent and Aaron Heilers of Anna 31 percent.
Democrat Joe Monbeck of Wapakoneta was unopposed.
85th House (All of Champaign County and most of Logan County as well as southeastern Shelby County)
Incumbent State Rep. Nino Vitale, R-Urbana, won the Republican primary race for his 85th House district and will now face Democrat Garrett Baldwin of Mechanicsburg, who was unopposed Tuesday.
Vitale took 71 percent of the vote to outpace Justin G. Griffis and Joseph Ratermann, both of Sidney; and Rochiel V. Foulk of Urbana.
Griffis got 11 percent, Ratermann had 10 percent and Foulk 9 percent.
In an interview Tuesday, Vitale emphasized his support for State Rep. Larry Householder, R-Glenford, for speaker of the House.
“We have to stop the cronyism, the FBI investigations and one or two mega-donors controlling the statehouse,” Vitale said, referring to an ongoing federal investigation that led Cliff Rosenberger to step down as Ohio house speaker.
Other than that, “I’m all about families and gun rights and protecting our paychecks,” he said. “That’s what I stand for.”