Retired Air Force officer, township trustee win Ohio House primaries

A Republican trustee and a retired Air Force officer will compete this November for two of Butler County’s Ohio House District seats against Democratic opponents.

Retired Air Force Lt. Col. Jennifer Gross beat West Chester Twp. Trustee Mark Welch with nearly 52 percent of the vote to be the GOP’s nominee for the 52nd Ohio House District. She’ll face West Chester Twp. Democrat Chuck Horn for the House seat being vacated by Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., who is seeking an Ohio Senate seat. Lang won his race over Rep. Candice Keller, R-Middletown, according to unofficial results.

MORE: Check out the area’s 2020 primary election results

Madison Twp. Trustee Thomas Hall defeated two opponents, Monroe School Board member Brett Guido and Calvary Church pastor Diane Mullins with 44.6 percent of the vote. He’ll be the GOP’s nominee for the 53rd Ohio House District. He’ll face Middletown School Board member and Democrat Michelle Novak for the House seat being vacated by Keller.

This fall’s general election is on Nov. 3.

Gross said she’s “very humbled” to win in what she called a tough race against Welch, who had both name recognition and the Butler County GOP’s endorsement.

“Now we roll up our sleeves,” she said. “We need to take care of Ohio.”

Hall could not be reached before the Journal-News deadline.

Horn and Novack were unopposed in Tuesday’s election.

Horn said considering the novel coronavirus crisis, “we need responsible government more than ever to make sure that help gets to working people and the most vulnerable. Not the friends of the powerful.”

RELATED: Butler County voter turnout barely tops 18 percent

Horn said Gov. Mike DeWine “is standing up with solid leadership in spite of a lack of needed support from the legislature with regard to safety.” He calls the Ohio House Republican Caucus “openly hostile to the governor’s efforts” and calls for “better representation in the Ohio House.”

Novak said the uncertainty of knowing who her November opponent was until Tuesday never changed her campaign efforts. She called the decision to delay Election Day by six weeks “a wise choice” and said November’s election will likely have a unique look.

“We don’t know what things are going to look like (in November), but things will probably look different moving forward,” she said. “There’s going to be different challenges and we’re addressing the challenges as we learn more.”

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