One Butler County incumbent falls, two others advance in GOP races for state seats

Primary sets up contested races in November as county Democrats vow to battle.

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

In a low-turnout election — fewer than 20% of registered voters participated Tuesday — Butler County voters in the 47th Ohio House District said they wanted someone new in Columbus.

That will either be local pastor Diane Mullins, a Hanover Twp. resident who beat incumbent Rep. Sara Carruthers earning 53.1% of the final unofficial votes Tuesday for the GOP nomination, or Vanessa Cummings, an Oxford Twp. business owner and pastor who was uncontested in the Democratic Party’s primary.

Mullins, a co-pastor at the Calvary Church in Hamilton, said she relied heavily on her Christian faith “and grassroots have spoken.”

“We have a great, hardworking team,” she said after the unofficial results were final.

Carruthers was one of several Ohio political targets of out-of-state dark money being funneled into the race. In late February, the Virginia-based political action committee (PAC) Make Liberty Win mailed out a flyer with allegations from a lawsuit against Carruthers that were never proven in court. She has filed a complaint against the PAC.

Cummings is also a pastor. In addition to being the CEO of Miss V Consulting and a motivational speaker, she’s also a pastor at Payne Chapel AME Church on Front Street in Hamilton.

Butler County Democratic Party Executive Chair Kathy Wyenandt said Tuesday’s election was driven by a hotly contested U.S. Senate Republican primary.

“We saw the MAGA extremist wing of the Republican Party winning in key primary races in Butler County and around the state, continuing the takeover of the remnants of the GOP,” she said. “There is so much at stake in 2024, from protecting reproductive freedom to fighting for Ohio workers to defending our democracy, and I am confident that our slate of Democratic candidates will put people first and work to move Butler County and the rest of Ohio forward.”

Butler County GOP Executive Chairman Todd Hall was pleased with Tuesday’s results.

“Butler County conservatives were victorious in the primary election yesterday. All Butler County Republican Party-endorsed candidates won,” he said. “We are proud of our candidates, grateful to our Republican voters, and as always impressed with the professionalism of our Board of Elections.”

Though one GOP incumbent will not have a chance for re-election, the rest of the county’s state lawmakers will see challenges in November.

Sen. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., ended Election Night on top, winning 60.2% of the unofficial vote total in Ohio’s 4th Senate District GOP primary nomination.

Lang staved off challengers Candice Keller, a former state lawmaker, and Mark Morgan, both of Middletown, who received 27.3% and 12.5% of the unofficial vote. The incumbent senator said this primary victory “proves that the voters of Butler County want someone who’s going to go to Columbus and get things done, things that are important to them, things like lowering taxes, things like reducing regulations, things like bringing businesses and jobs back to Ohio.”

“I call it the Butler County model and I think the choice was pretty clear. I think the voters had made it clear that they want somebody that can go up there and deliver results,” he said.

Lang will now face Thomas Cooke, of Oxford Twp., the Democratic Party’s candidate for the 4th Ohio Senate District this November. Ohio’s 4th Senate District represents most of Butler County (Wayne and Milford townships and the city of Trenton are represented by the 5th Senate District).

Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., had a decisive victory on Tuesday, earning 83.7% of the unofficial vote totals in the 46th Ohio House District race over first-time candidate Zachary Stacy, of Monroe.

Hall first gave thanks to God for “the strength, wisdom, and guidance throughout another tough election.”

“I am immensely thankful to my incredible family, team, and friends for their unwavering belief in me,” he said. “Without their support, these results would not be possible. I am excited for the opportunity ahead to share my message with voters this fall.”

Hall now faces Benjamin McCall, of Liberty Twp., who was unopposed in the Democratic Party’s primary nomination for the 46th House District seat.

The general election is set for Nov. 5, and residents can register online now at for this fall’s election.

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