Locals react to former Butler County politician Mike Fox’s death

Former Butler County politician Mike Fox died on Thursday, June 23, after battling a lengthy illness.

The 73-year-old had battled health issues for the past several years, including having a severe heart attack and having a cancerous kidney removed about 4-1/2 years ago. Here are what some said about the passing of Fox.

Butler County Commissioner Don Dixon said though Fox was a controversial figure, “he provided some good service to Butler County and a legislator and as a commissioner,” adding that no one but him could have gotten Ohio 129 built.

“He is probably single-handedly responsible for Ohio 129 being built. No one else could have gotten that built. That was a massive undertaking, and he was a very smart politician and was able to connect the dots and make it happen.”

“He did a lot more for Butler County as a legislature over the years that have helped create jobs and help Butler County grow,” Dixon said. “Nobody is perfect, but he was probably one of the smartest legislators I have seen work in Columbus. Just amazing.”

“We had a good talk. We talked about some of the accomplishments he had made. About politics in general and how politics can consume someone without them even knowing it,” Dixon said.

Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones said Fox was known as a “character” by many, but a “brilliant person” who knew of his accomplishments.

“He was an unbelievably brilliant person in the Statehouse,” the sheriff said. “I was always told he could get bills passed when the Democrats were in charge, or the Republicans, and he could get amendments done.”

West Chester Twp. Trustee Lee Wong said Mike Fox is “very innovative” and “always thinking” on ways to make life better for those in Butler County.

“He has done a lot for the county, more than any other politician that I know of, to put it bluntly. Yes, Mike had made some mistakes, and he’s not perfect, but he always stood up for the little people. That’s Mike Fox. He’s a people’s politician.”

He continued to say without Fox, West Chester Twp. would not have the Union Center Boulevard interchange. “It was Mike Fox. He pushed it through within one year and got it done. No other politician could do that. They sit around and talk and talk. No other. Mike Fox was a man of action.”

Long-time friend Joe Statzer said he thought of Fox Friday morning, June 24, driving on Ohio 129, the highway that once bore his name but was removed in 2004.

“I couldn’t help but think of Mike and his many accomplishments for Butler County,” he said as he drove on the former Michael A. Fox highway. “He could be a genius, frustrating, comical, serious, irritating, and all in the same conversation ― heck the same sentence. Mike did a lot for this community. He certainly left a legacy of achievement.”


A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until noon on Wednesday, June 29 at the Princeton Pike Church of God, 6101 Princeton-Glendale Road, Liberty Twp. Pastor Barry Clardy will officiate. A private burial service will be held at Rose Hill Burial Park at a later date. Online condolences are available at www.avancefuneralhome.com.