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Woods trailing, Hambley leading in Ohio House GOP primaries

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Lisa Woods of York Township was trailing late Tuesday night in the Republican primary in her bid to be the nominee in November for the 70th District Ohio House seat.

Incumbent state Rep. Steve Hambley, of Brunswick, was leading the Republican race for the 69th District Ohio House seat.

Woods was competing with two Holmes County candidates for the nomination. With 72 percent of precincts counted in a district that covers portions of Medina, Ashland and Holmes counties, Darrell Kick was leading with 5,422 votes to 4,976 for Steven Johnson and Woods third with 4,918.

The district was guaranteed a new Republican nominee would run in November. That’s because incumbent Rep. Dave Hall, who will finish eight years of service at the end of 2016, was prevented by Ohio law from seeking another term.

Woods came into the election as the only one who has held an elected position before. She has served a vice chair of the Republican Party Central Committee.

Woods, 51, pointed to her experience in helping create a political discussion group called Leading Medina County Friends and Neighbors, which she said has held meetings twice a month since 2008.

She is a Buckeye High School and Medina County Joint Vocational School graduate and mother of five.

Johnson, 45, graduated from West Holmes High School in 1989 and served four years in the U.S. Air Force.

With degrees from Cincinnati Christian University and Mount Vernon Nazarene University, he has worked as a government and history teacher in Cincinnati. He was the losing candidate in 2008 in a race for an Ohio House seat from southwest Ohio. He moved back to Holmes County last year.

Kick, 47, is a father of five who works part time on his Holmes County farm, which he said has been in his family for seven generations. He has been president of the Holmes County Farm Bureau and said he wanted to be an “agricultural voice” in the Ohio House.

He worked for U.S. Rep. Bob Gibbs’ office for five years, including two as part of Gibbs’ senior staff, he said.

Hambley vs. Sawicki

Hambley was leading by a large margin over challenger Chris Sawicki with 57 percent of the vote counted in the Republican primary for the 69th District, according to unofficial state results.

The 69th District includes the eastern portion of Medina County, the cities of Medina and Wadsworth, and one of the city of Brunswick’s four wards; the villages of Lodi, Chippewa Lake, Gloria Glens Park, Seville and Westfield Center; and Granger, Guilford, Harrisville, Hinckley, Lafayette, Medina, Montville and Sharon townships and portions of Brunswick Hills and York townships.

Hambley told The Gazette in an interview that he was very pleased with how voting was going after polls closed. “I am very grateful to the Republican voters,” he said, adding he is anxious to get back to work in Columbus.

The unofficial results showed Hambley had 9,958 votes to Sawicki’s of 4,723.

The Hambley-Sawicki race was a rematch of the primary in 2014 when Hambley won with 61 percent of the vote.

The winner faces Frank A. Zona of Hinckley Township, who ran unopposed on the Democratic ballot.



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