LIMA — Former Lima City Council president and state representative Matt Huffman officially entered the race for Ohio’s 12th District Senate seat Thursday, filing the necessary paperwork at the Allen County Board of Elections. The seat is currently held by term-limited State Senate President Keith Faber, R-Celina.
A partner at the Lima law firm of Huffman, Kelley, Brock & Gottschalk, Huffman has served in a political capacity for more than 20 years, first elected to Lima City Council in 1992 to represent the 4th Ward before being appointed council president in 1998, serving in that capacity until 2006. He then immediately went to Columbus, where he spent two terms representing the 4th District in the State House of Representatives.
“I’ve enjoyed being in local government, on city council for 15 years, and in the State House as a representative for eight years,” he said. “I think I’ve done a lot of good work, but there’s a lot of work that continues to need to be done in the state of Ohio, especially for west central Ohio. So this is a great opportunity.”
During his time in the House, Huffman was the primary sponsor of the Healthcare Simplification Act, signed into law in 2008, and he was one of the main architects on the recently passed Issue 1, which created a bipartisan method of redrawing the state’s political districts. Huffman has touted his experience as a difference maker in this campaign, where he is running against former state represenative John Adams of Sidney.
“We want to elect people who are effective, who can persuade people who don’t agree with us to agree with us,” he said. “It’s not just a matter of being for something, but about getting something done.”
If elected, Huffman noted that he would focus on increasing manufacturing and vocational training opportunities in the state.
“We have a great deal of emphasis on four-year institutions, and that’s great, but there are unfilled jobs all over west central Ohio, and that’s the one, overwhelming thing that employers say to me,” he said. “We need to train and retain our people in west central Ohio.”
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.