The GOP’s Bill Roemer held on for a double-digit victory over Democrat Elliot Kolkovich in Tuesday's race to replace retiring state Rep. Marilyn Slaby.

Republicans retained an open legislative seat and will continue to represent Ohio's 38th House District.

Republican Bill Roemer was the unofficial victor Tuesday night in the race to replace retiring state Rep. Marilyn Slaby, a Republican, who was not seeking a fifth-consecutive term. With 100 percent of precincts reporting, Roemer won with 57 percent of the vote, compared to Kolkovich's 43 percent, according to an unofficial tally by the Ohio Secretary of State's office.

"I'm elated and dedicated to serving the 38th District to the best of my ability," said Roemer shortly after a victory speech in front of supporters. "The people in both Stark and Summit counties will see me on a regular basis."

Roemer, 62, is a former Summit County Council at-large member, who is currently serving as vice president on the Summit Educational Service Center. He works as a substitute teacher, focusing on mathematics, in the Revere School District and also is a certified public accountant.

He describes himself as fiscally conservative, which, he said, puts him in line with the bulk of 38th District voters.

Roemer said he knocked on about 40,000 household doors during the campaign, and made stops in smaller communities like Beach City, Brewster and Wilmot in Stark County. Campaigning in a non-presidential year was not easy, he added.

"There are huge amounts of headwinds," said Roemer, who won by more than 7,200 votes. "The party in power (in state and federal government) tends to lose seats."

In Columbus, Roemer said he would work to promote and maintain a healthy, competitive state economy, by lowering taxes for working people, and practice sound business regulation.

Kolkovich, 38, was campaigning hard on education, and noted he talked about that issue most with voters. He acknowledged the district is an uphill election battle for Democrats.

"I fee like we made some good inroads," Kolkovich said. "But it's a tough district. I wish (Mr. Roemer) well in his service to the district."

Since 2011, Kolkovich has been employed as an assistant criminal prosecuting attorney with Summit County, and he said he'll continue to work in that office for some time.

"Obviously, I'm disappointed. But proud of the campaign we ran," Kolkovich said. "I was working 'til the last minute and campaigning until the end."

The 38th District includes Canal Fulton, Lawrence Township, Tuscarawas Township, Brewster, Sugar Creek Township, Beach City and Wilmot in Stark County, and western Summit County.

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