LIMA — After two conservative candidates made their case, voters in Ohio’s 12th Senate District chose Lima attorney and former state represenative Matt Huffman as their Republican nominee and heir apparent to the seat that will be vacated by term-limited Sen. Keith Faber, R-Celina.
After the win, Huffman credited the result to the hard work of the many volunteers in his campaign.
“I think we did as well as we did because we had literally hundreds of people in seven counties helping us,” he said. “There were people knocking on doors, phone callers, people putting in signs.”
While Huffman was grateful to have a strong showing in his home county, he plans to represent the interests of the entire district in Columbus.
“A lot of legislators lose track of the fact that this is a service position,” he said. “You get to vote on bills and you can make speeches about policy, but a lot of people need to be able to navigate state government. They need to know that if they’re not getting something addressed by the state government, that’s what a legislator does.”
Adams released a statement in which he attributed Huffman’s win to efforts from the state’s political elite.
“It is difficult to win when the Columbus establishment purchases your senate seat and dumps negative mail at the end,” he said. “I wouldn’t have thought a 94.8 percent attendance record could be used against me. Columbus got their ‘yes man’ and the status quo will continue.”
Huffman pledged to work on initiatives to make having a job more appealing to those currently receiving state assistance.
“We have to stop incentivizing people not to work,” he said.
The other contested primary in the area was in the 82nd House District, in which Republican incumbent Tony Burkley was challenged by retired businessman Craig Riedel. As of 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Riedel had a 55-45 percent lead over Burkley with eight precincts left to report in.
Several state office races in the area were uncontested, including the 4th House District, with Bob Cupp staying on for the Republicans with no Democrat running. Keith Faber will attempt to make the transition to the Ohio House in the 84th District for the Republicans, while Democrat Ed Huff Jr. will oppose Faber for the seat in November.
Reach Craig Kelly at 567-242-0390 or on Twitter @Lima_CKelly.