Coley sworn in Tuesday as newest member of the Ohio Senate

Coley replaces Gary Cates, the West Chester Twp. Republican who resigned from the Ohio Senate’s 4th District post earlier this month to join the Ohio Board of Regents as senior vice chancellor for Innovation and Enterprise Development.

Coley, an attorney who lives in Liberty Twp., said he was humbled by the appointment.

He had been serving his fourth term in the Ohio House as the 55th District representative. As a lawmaker, Coley said he didn’t become any less conservative, but he did learn to be a better listener.

“I’m learning to become a better legislator, ask questions as a legislator, conduct myself as a legislator,” said Coley, who also is a private pilot.

Coley will serve on the Senate highways and transportation, health and human services, and education committees.

With his wife, Carolyn, at his side, Coley was sworn in by Senate President Tom Niehaus, R-New Richmond.

Earlier this month, the Ohio Senate Republican Caucus screening committee recommended the 50-year-old Coley for the seat. Prior to the caucus recommendation, Coley was the Butler County Republican Party’s Executive Committee choice to succeed Cates.

Coley faced term limits of the state representative seat in 2012 and was intending to run for the 4th District senate seat.

GOP to screen House candidates

The Butler County Republican Party set a 4 p.m. Thursday deadline for candidates seeking to fill the Ohio 55th House District seat held by now state. Sen. Bill Coley of Liberty Twp.

The 55th district represents most of eastern Butler County, including West Chester and Liberty townships, and Middletown.

Don Spurlock, screening committee chairman, said the screening will be in June. The fee is $125. For more information, contact Spurlock at (513) 777-4550 or the party office at (513) 893-5292.