Incumbent state Sen. Larry J. Obhof easily defeated challenger Janet Folger Porter on Tuesday night in the Republican primary for the 22nd District Ohio Senate seat.
With unofficial results in from the district that includes Medina, Ashland, Richland and a part of Holmes counties, Obhof had 36,175 votes to Porter’s, 19,693.
Obhof, of Montville Township, will face Christopher King, of Sullivan Township, in the November election. King was unopposed in Democratic primary.
Obhof, who was elected to Ohio Senate in 2012 after being appointed the year prior, cast himself as a fiscally conservative candidate who has tackled a range of issues while in office, including the heroin epidemic and criminal justice reform.
The 38-year-old lawyer said he was part of a legal team who worked to repeal the federal health care law in a Florida case. Obhof said he takes a pro-life stance, earning him endorsements from Ohio Right to Life and former state Rep. Lynn Wachtmann, who introduced the heartbeat legislation, which would have banned abortions once a fetus had a detectable heartbeat.
Porter, of Hinckley Township, is a founder of the Christian activist group Faith2Action. She previously told The Gazette she decided to run against Obhof after she was disappointed by his lack of response when she petitioned him to bring the heartbeat bill, a measure she supports, to a vote in the senate.
She ran on a platform criticizing Obhof’s record on abortion, the health care law and Common Core educational testing. Porter said she is against all three and criticized Obhof for not taking a stronger stand.
However, Obhof disagreed and has said he has a strong record in these areas.
Porter held a seat on the Republican state central committee in the mid-1990s. She worked as the legislative director for Ohio Right to Life from 1988 to 1997 after graduating from Cleveland State University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication.