Jena Powell of Arcanum, a first-time political candidate, beat out three other Republicans in one of Ohio’s most expensive statehouse primary races on Tuesday.
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Powell, 24, won 49.5 percent of the 14,584 votes cast in the race.
John W. “Bud” O’Brien of Troy came in second with 21 percent of votes. J.D. Winteregg of Troy, who previously ran for Congress, was third with 19 percent and George H. Lovett of Tipp City receivedabout 11 percent.
The Ohio House 80th District includes all of Miami County and southern Darke County.
Powell won southern Darke County by a large margin getting 70 percent of the 2,560 votes cast there.
She will now face write-in Democrat Scott R. Zimmerman of Troy in the Nov. 6 General Election.
“It’s amazing to have so much support from the community,” Powell said of the primary win.
Her focus is fighting for local government control and cutting down on regulations so that small businesses can thrive.
“When we have high taxes, high regulations, it puts a burden on our small businesses,” Powell said. “We want to create an environment where they can thrive.”
Powell is a small business owner herself, starting her first company when she was 17. She and her brother now own and operate a billboard advertising company in Arcanum.
“I’ve been able to fulfill my American dream here,” she said. “I want the younger generation to know they don’t have to go somewhere else.”
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.
Lovett loaned $99,400 to his campaign and collected $5,025 in contributions. He spent the most of any candidate, $103,807.
Powell raised the most in donations at $70,193 and loaned herself $15,000. She spent $54,218.