- Michael D. Pitman Staff Writer
West Chester Twp. George Lang is now the presumptive front-runner to succeed Ohio Rep. Margy Conditt, R-Liberty Twp., who resigns Friday.
Lang was the overwhelming recommended choice of the Butler County Republican Party’s Central Committee members that live in the 52nd Ohio House District, receiving 46 of 69 votes cast.
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Butler County State Central Committeewoman Ann Becker, of West Chester Twp., received 19 votes, followed by Jeff Kursman, of Liberty Twp. (3), Dr. Anu Mital, of Liberty Twp., (1) and West Chester Twp. Trustee Lee Wong (none).
District residents of the GOP’s Central Committee listened to the five can didates seeking the party’s recommendation. There are seven candidates seeking the seat, but John Haberer and Grace Kendrick, both of West Chester Twp., did not seek the party’s recommendation.
Lang is known for his ability to raise funds and contributions to the county Republican Party, and touted that ability in his speech.
“Two things that your state rep must be very good at: one is getting elected and, two, being able to raise funds,” Lang said.
He said he’s won his four elections “by a landside margin” and touted that he’s “very good at raising money.
“We are the economic epicenter of the Cincinnati-Dayton corridor,” Lang said. “If I’m blessed to get this appointment, I want to make Ohio the most business-friendly state in the nation.”
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He said he intends to take the model he and other trustees have done over the years and apply it at the state level.
“I want to reduce or eliminate the corporate tax on businesses and I want to start eliminate unnecessary regulations on business – the exact same thing we did in West Chester, I want to do for the state,” Lang said.
Conditt announced last month she was stepping down from her Statehouse seat on Sept. 8 to spend more time with her family. She resigns just six months into her third elected term.
Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger spokesman Brad Miller has previously said Conditt’s successor could be sworn in to office “in a fairly quick turnaround.”
All seven candidates will be interviewed Friday and the appointment will be announced sometime between Friday and Sept. 13. No date has been set as to when Rosenberger would make his decision.
A screening panel, which will includechairman Rep. Kirk Schuring, R-Canton, and Reps. Sarah LaTourette, R-Bainbridge Twp., and Bob Cupp, R-Lima, will vet the applicants.
Butler County Democratic Party Chairwoman Jocelyn Bucaro has expressed her disappointment in Conditt’s resignation and said it opens the door “to enable Republican Party insiders to anoint yet another successor who answers to party bosses and not the voters they’re supposed to represent.”
She later said Lang was “unfit to serve” in the Statehouse, alleging he “traded access” to local Republicans to aid the defunct Dynus tech company.
Some of Dynus’ executives were tried and found guilty of defrauding the county millions of dollars. Lang, who eventually became a Dynus executive after being a lobbyist for the company, was never indicted for his role in the company and was found not guilty on a perjury charge stemming from his testimony of former Dynus owner Orlando Carter.