Madison Twp., Middletown residents vying for state representative of 46th district

Incumbent Thomas Hall being challenged by Larry Mulligan II.

The youngest state representatives in Ohio and a Middletown resident with a well respected last name are running for the 46th district.

Republican Thomas Hall, 27, who was elected two years ago, is being challenged by Democrat Larry Mulligan II, 30, music director and department chair at Fenwick High School in Middletown. The 46th district includes Middletown, Monroe, Liberty Twp., Madison Twp., St. Clair Twp. and New Miami.

Hall defeated Democrat Michelle Novak with 68% of the vote for the 53rd district in 2020. Before that, he served two terms as a Madison Twp. trustee.

The Mulligan name is synonymous with politics in the city. Mulligan’s grandmother, Cathie Mulligan, serves on the Middletown school board; his father, Larry Mulligan, served as mayor on Middletown City Council; and his uncle, Joe Mulligan, served as vice mayor.

Mulligan said most of his family is Republican and he feels fortunate to grow up in a family that takes their “responsibility to community seriously.”

“While we may not agree on all things, we believe in volunteering, being responsible citizens, and stepping up when there is a need in the community,” Mulligan wrote on his campaign page.

Hall and Mulligan differ greatly on whether to arms school employees.

In June, the Senate passed House Bill 99, introduced by Hall more than a year ago, that sets a minimum requirement of 24 hours of initial training, then up to eight hours of requalification training annually for school employees to carry guns in schools.

“This will protect lives,” Hall said during a press conference t the time at the Republican headquarters in Middletown.

The permissive bill that was signed by Gov. Mike DeWine leaves it up to individual Ohio school districts whether to arm teachers and how many hours of gun training to require, as long as it’s at least 24.

Mulligan, however, said arming teachers is “not right for schools” and “there are better options” to keep students and staff safe. He believes better mental health and “common sense” gun laws are ways to reduce school shootings.

Hall said his “proven record” over the past year has shown that he stands for “personal freedom, safer schools and communities as well as supporting legislation that makes Ohio better for everyone.”

Mulligan said the Republican party is not “standing for the freedoms of all Ohioans.”

On social media, Mulligan has been critical of Hall for not agreeing to a debate. Instead of debating, Hall said he will continue to take his message to voters by knocking on doors and attending numerous community events in the district.

Mulligan said this campaign is based on fighting the corruption and inaction that neither party should support.

“This has never been more apparent in the last two years as we have faced the largest public health crisis in a century, coupled with an economic crisis and growing environmental crisis that continues to loom over us as our state leaders do nothing,” he wrote. “We need empathy and compassion in our leaders. Those who move us forward to face the challenges that lie ahead, trust the experts in fields of education, public health, and the environment. We need leaders who will work to empower our community.”

If re-elected, Hall said he hopes to continue to work on “modernizing state government” by making it more efficient and saving taxpayer money.


Name: Thomas Hall

Age: 27

Occupation: State representative

Education: Madison High School and Miami University graduate

Political experience: Two terms as Madison Twp. trustee; one term as state representative

Name: Larry Mulligan II

Age: 30

Occupation: Music director at Fenwick High School

Education: Fenwick High School and Bowling Green State University graduate

Political experience: None

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