Republican State Sen. Scott Oelslager will be returning to his old job in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Republican Scott Oelslager will be returning to his old job in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Oelslager handily defeated Democratic challenger Lorraine Wilburn in a race for Ohio's 48th House District, which includes Jackson Township, Hills and Dales, Meyers Lake, Navarre, North Canton, Perry Township and part of Plain Township.
Oelslager, 65, of North Canton, has been in office since 1985, when he was first elected to the state Senate.
He and Republican state Rep. Kirk Schuring, who also won Tuesday, have now swapped jobs three times.
Ohio prohibits members of the house from being elected to more than four consecutive two-year terms and members of the Ohio Senate from being elected to more than two consecutive four-year terms. Once members reach those term limits, they have to wait another four years before seeking that same seat, but aren't prohibited from running for a seat in the other chamber of the General Assembly.
Oelslager was first elected to the state Senate in 1985. He was a state representative for the 51st District from 2003-2010, and facing term limits in the House, again was elected to the Senate in 2011.
Oelslager defeated Wilburn with 64 percent of the vote — 30,855 votes to her 17,259.
Oelslager did not immediately return calls Tuesday night seeking comment.
He serves as chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, which oversees the state budget. In an interview with the Repository's Editorial Board, he said constituents have encouraged him to keep running.
"The reason is we've made a lot of progress in the economy in the state of Ohio since 2011. We’ve been able to balance the budget, we’ve been able to cut taxes for individuals as well as most businesses," he said in the interview.
He cited his top priorities as economic — job growth and workforce development — as well as the opioid crisis and health care. He said he supports Medicaid expansion.
At polling locations Tuesday, some voters said their familiarity with Oelslager secured their vote.
"I've voted for him forever," said Cheri Keller after voting at Dogwood Shelter in North Canton.
Wilborn, 45, of North Canton, was running for office for the first time.
She is the founder of Action Together Stark County, a progressive grassroots organization formed in 2016. She said her work with the organization — educating women on the political process and voting issues — inspired her to run for office.
Wilborn did not immediately return calls Tuesday night requesting comment.
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