Republicans again sweep Statehouse seats in Butler County: What to know about the winners

Voters cast their ballot on election day at Madison schools auxiliary gymnasium Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Madison Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF
Voters cast their ballot on election day at Madison schools auxiliary gymnasium Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020 in Madison Township. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

HAMILTON ― Butler County voters have overwhelmingly said they want to continue to see conservative lawmakers represent their interests in Columbus, according to unofficial election results.

The Republicans running in three contested races ― the 4th Ohio Senate District and the 52nd and 53rd House Districts ― had decisive leads on Election Night when all precincts reported, and though there are still votes to be counted, including Election Day provisional votes and late-arriving mail-in ballots, it’s not expected to change the results.

Butler County election officials will certify the Tuesday election on Nov. 18, according to the board.

ExploreElection 2020 Results

Ohio Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., will move from the House to the Senate, besting Democratic opponent Kathy Wyenandt for the 4th Ohio Senate seat. Lang will succeed Ohio Sen. Bill Coley, R-Liberty Twp., who is term-limited. The 4th Ohio Senate District represents most of Butler County, and Lang will serve in the upper chamber for the next four years starting in January.

Lang received 60.9 percent of the vote. Though Lang has a 22-point lead over Wyenandt with votes still to be counted, her 38.9 percent share was still the best showing for a Democrat for this Senate seat since 2008.

But Lang, a former West Chester Twp. trustee, said he will continue to push what he calls the “Butler County model" in order to make Ohio “more business-friendly.”

“Right now, Ohio is the fifth-most-left state in the nation. Not from an ideological perspective but from people leaving the state,” Lang said. “Butler County is growing. Our population relative to the rest of Ohio is growing because we have created a state where a business can come to and make more money than going to any other state around us."

First-time Statehouse candidate Thomas Hall, a Madison Twp. trustee, ended Election Night with a 37-point lead over Middletown School Board member Michelle Novak in the 53rd Ohio House District race.

Hall, who earned 68.4 percent of the vote, will succeed Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, who lost a primary bid to be the GOP’s 4th Senate District nominee. The district represents most of Butler County, from the western townships to Oxford and Middletown.

Hall said "the work begins now.”

“We can’t wait until January or February or March to get going," he said. "We have to get our Ohio economy back safely.”

While issues on COVID-19 relief and House Bill 6 are topics the next General Assembly could address, he also knows school funding “is going to be a very important topic” over the next two years.

If House Speaker Robert Cupp is reelected as speaker, “We have a really good chance to try and fix the school funding formula and have a better solution for schools going into the next two or three or four bienniums.”

Jennifer Gross, who will also be a first-time state lawmaker, will serve as the 52nd Ohio House District seat in the next General Assembly. The retired Air Force lieutenant colonel earned 63.6 percent of the vote, while her opponent, Democrat Chuck Horn, received 36.4 percent, according to unofficial Election Night returns.

The 52nd Ohio House District includes West Chester and Liberty townships, and parts of Fairfield Twp. and Sharonville. Gross will succeed Lang in the Ohio House.

“I really want to lead with civility, respect, integrity and honor,” she said.

Though there are people who will disagree with her politics, she still wants to hear from her entire constituency, she said.

“I’d like to be known as the kind of representative that my door is always open and the people can come to speak with me, even if they think I’m not going to agree with them because I’m a conservative Republican," she said. "My door is always open.”

Gross intends to hold monthly townhalls hopefully in February, she said. She also plans to continue to go door-to-door.

BUTLER COUNTY STATEHOUSE RESULTS

Here are the unofficial election results of the Statehouse races in Butler County from Nov. 3:

4th Ohio Senate

  • George Lang: 60.9 percent
  • Kathy Wyenandt: 38.9 percent
  • Kent Keller: 0.1 percent

51st Ohio House

  • Sara Carruthers: 97.3 percent
  • Johnny Hamilton (write-in): 2.7 percent

52nd Ohio House

  • Jennifer Gross: 63.4 percent
  • Chuck Horn: 36.6 percent

53rd Ohio House

  • Thomas Hall: 68.4 percent
  • Michelle Novak: 31.6 percent

Source: Butler County Board of Elections, unofficial results

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