State Rep. Rick Perales, R-Beavercreek, overcame salacious allegations in his Republican primary race against Jocelyn Smith of Fairborn, soundly defeating her in the Republican primary for the Ohio 73rd district seat.
Perales took 80 percent of the vote to Smith’s to 20 percent, according to final, unofficial results posted on the Ohio Secretary of State website. Perales received 8,287 votes and Smith received 2,018.
“I feel fortunate to have family, friends and all these supporters that went out today and voted,” Perales said. “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. “I'm just sitting back and spending time with my family.”
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Perales will face Democrat Kim McCarthy, a first-time candidate from Sugarcreek Twp., who was unopposed in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. McCarthy received 4,864 votes in her primary.
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The 73rd district includes Beavercreek, Fairborn, Yellow Springs, Bellbrook and surrounding western Greene County townships.
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Smith has accused Perales of forcefully kissing, choking and fondling her in 2015. Smith, who has filed no charges against him, said she continued communicating and meeting with Perales for several months that year because she wanted to achieve several political objectives.
Rick Perales and Jocelyn Smith
Photo: Staff Writer
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 against Smith alleging extortion after Smith held a news conference March 27 and threatened to release more texts and other documentation of her allegations if Perales did not resign from his House seat and withdraw from the Republican primary race.
Madison County Prosecutor Stephen J. Pronai has agreed to serve as special prosecutor and will review the case once the police department completes its investigation, said Greene County Prosecutor Stephen Haller.
Last week Smith released additional texts she said came from Perales but said she is not extorting him. Perales said Smith’s goal is to ruin him with her “ever-changing tabloid television accusations” in order to get elected.
Perales said he always felt that he would win and that voters would see past Smith’s allegations against him 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.”
The story so far on allegations in Ohio House 73rd Republican Primary
Consultant says challenger Jocelyn Smith out to ‘ruin’ Rep. Perales
Credibility, #MeToo could be factors in local House race
Latest twist: Candidate says she will take polygraph test Thursday
Perales: My opponent is extorting me
Salacious allegations have dominated Greene County race