Republican incumbent Kyle Koehler retained his seat in the Ohio House this week, according to unofficial results from the Clark County Board of Elections.
Koehler garnered about 60 percent of the vote while his opponent Amanda Finfrock got about 40 percent in the race for the seat for Ohio House District 79.
“Tonight, I want to thank the voters of the 79th District who voted for me,” Koehler said Tuesday night. “I am also thankful for the families who knocked thousands of doors and made thousands of phone calls on my behalf.”
The 79th district includes Springfield, New Carlisle, Enon, and South Charleston.
Finfrock said she was proud to have run to serve Clark County.
“It’s been an honor to be the Democratic candidate for the Ohio State district 79,” she said. “We fought a hard campaign but came up short in the end. Thank you to everybody that supported my campaign and voted for me I wish Kyle Koehler the best, for the future of Clark County.”
The contest between the two had become heated in the final weeks of the campaign season as both questioned their opponent’s careers, voting records, and campaign ethics.
Koehler said the campaign was a tough one.
“Tonight’s victory is bittersweet. Over the last four years, I have worked to bring our community together by showing them that — even though people disagree — we can work together on issues like the cleaning up the Tremont City Barrel Fill and successfully reforming payday lending in our state,” he said. “This has been an incredibly negative election propelled by dark, out-of-state money. In the wake of the divisiveness, I feel it is incumbent upon me to spend time trying to repair the damage done.”
Koehler is part owner of K.K. Tool Co. in Springfield. He said his main objectives over the next two years will be working with the legislature to fight the opioid epidemic and build a better education system for Ohio.
He also said he has his own projects he intends on trying to pass including ballot reform. He said right now he believes it’s too easy for out of state activities to put an issue on the Ohio ballot that could change the Ohio constitution.
“We need to make sure that you can’t just go to Cleveland, Cincinnati and Columbus to get something on the ballot state-wide,” he said. “We want to give the folks in Clark County, Champaign County, the ability to also have a say.
Koehler also said he wants to address a sewer issue residents are running into when they sell their homes.