Meet the freshmen lawmakers of the 134th Ohio General Assembly

By: - January 6, 2021 12:50 am

A photo of the Ohio Statehouse from Wikimedia Commons.

Monday marked the beginning of the 134th Ohio General Assembly, the two-year legislative term that will run through the end of 2022.

With each term comes a slate of new faces representing every corner of the state. 

Here is a quick introduction to the freshman class of the 134th Ohio General Assembly:

Ohio House of Representatives

Marilyn John, 2nd District (R)

John knows a thing or two about the needs of her 2nd District. That’s because the district encompasses the boundaries of Richland County — which she has served as county commissioner since 2015. John is also a former mayor of Shelby.

Monique Smith, 16th District (D)

Smith has the distinction of being the only Democrat this term to represent a district that was held by a Republican last term. Smith is a former city council member of Lakewood. Her suburban district covers the western portion of Cuyahoga County along Lake Erie.

Dontavius Jarrells, 25th District (D)

Jarrells is a former Legislative Service Commission fellow who is returning to the Ohio Statehouse as a lawmaker. In the decade since his last time working in Capitol Square, Jarrells has worked in public health policy, at the Franklin County Treasurer’s Office and as a political campaign director. The 25th District covers a northeastern portion of Franklin County. 

Bob Young, 36th District (R)

This suburban Akron district has a history of going Green. Anthony DeVitis, a former Green City Council member, served the district for eight years. Voters elected another Green council member in Young to represent the seat. He is also a realtor and professional auctioneer. 

Willis Blackshear Jr., 39th District (D)

Blackshear Jr., an outreach specialist with the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office, will represent much of the Dayton area in this Southwest Ohio district. 

Andrea White, 41st District (R)

White has spent nearly the past two decades as the clerk for the Kettering Municipal Court. The 41st District covers suburban Dayton in the eastern part of Montgomery County.

Tom Young, 42nd District (R)

Young is a former member of the Montgomery County Board of Elections and the Wright State University board of trustees. The suburban Dayton district represents the southern portion of Montgomery County.

Rodney Creech, 43rd District (R)

Creech is another public official who went from the county courthouse to the Ohio Statehouse. Creech has served as a Preble County Commissioner in western Ohio and runs his own lawn care business. 

Ohio House
Photo from the Ohio House of Representatives website.

Jennifer Gross, 52nd District (R)

Gross is a returned lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force and works as a nurse practitioner. The 52nd District represents the southeast corner of Butler County. 

Thomas Hall, 53rd District (R) 

Hall is the youngest lawmaker serving in the Ohio House of Representatives at just 25 years old. He previously served as a Madison Twp. Trustee in Butler County. This district covers most of Butler County, including Miami University.

Daniel Troy, 60th District (D)

Troy is a former state representative who is returning to Columbus. In between legislative stints, he served numerous terms as Lake County commissioner in northern Ohio. The 60th District represents part of Lake County with communities such as Willoughby and Painesville. 

Mike Loychik, 63rd District (R) 

This northeast Ohio district covering part of Trumbull County flipped from Democrat to Republican control. Loychik is a U.S. Air Force veteran who operates a power washing business.

Jean Schmidt, 65th District (R) 

Schmidt returns to public office after having previously served numerous terms in the Ohio House and the U.S. House of Representatives. The 65th District covers a portion of Clermont County near the Ohio River. 

Adam Bird, 66th District (R)

Bird had a lengthy career in education before winning his seat to the Ohio Statehouse. He previously served as superintendent of the New Richmond school district. The 66th District covers the other portion of Clermont County.

Sharon Ray, 69th District (R)

This Medina County district will be represented by Ray, who previously served as a Medina County commissioner and Wadsworth City Council member. She also served on the county’s board of elections and in recent years has worked as a bailiff for the Wadsworth Municipal Court. 

Brian Lampton, 73rd District (R)

Lampton is another former board of elections member, this time from Greene County. He also operates an insurance agency and serves as president of the Fairborn Area Chamber of Commerce. The 73rd District represents the western portion of Greene County. 

Gail Pavliga, 75th District (R)

This district in Portage County flipped from Democratic to Republican control. Pavliga is a counselor and adjunct professor at Malone University.

Brian Stewart, 78th District (R)

Stewart is an Army veteran who served in Iraq, later returning to Pickaway County to serve as an Ashville Village Council member and county commissioner. The 78th District covers all or parts of Pickaway, Fairfield, Hocking, Athens, Morgan and Muskingum counties in southern Ohio.

Gary Click, 88th District (R)

Click has served as the lead pastor of Fremont Baptist Temple since 2006 and also is a law enforcement/hospice chaplain. The 88th District represents Seneca and Sandusky counties in northern Ohio.

Mark Johnson, 92nd District (R)

For the past decade, Johnson has worked as the business manager for the Tri-State Building Trades Council union. The 92nd District is one of the largest in Ohio, covering all or parts of Fayette, Pickaway and Ross counties south of Columbus.

Ron Ferguson, 96th District (R)

Ferguson, a former TV news reporter from eastern Ohio, represents another district that flipped from blue to red. The 96th District covers all or parts of Monroe, Jefferson and Belmont counties along the Ohio River.

Sarah Fowler Arthur, 99th District (R)

This district covering Ashtabula and Geauga counties in northeast Ohio also flipped from Democratic to Republican control. Fowler Arthur served eight years on the Ohio State Board of Education and, among other business experiences, founded a blueberry farm in her native village of Rock Creek.

Ohio Senate

Jerry Cirino, 18th District (R)

Cirino is a retired CEO of a medical equipment company who most recently has served as Lake County commissioner. The 18th District represents all or parts of Lake, Geauga and Portage counties in northeast Ohio.

Sandra O’Brien, 32nd District (R)

It was an S. O’Brien vs. S. O’Brien election in this district covering Ashtabula, Trumbull and Geauga counties in northeast Ohio. Republican Sandra O’Brien defeated Democratic incumbent Sean O’Brien to flip the district red. She was a longtime Ashtabula County auditor and educator. 

Ohio Senate Chambers
The Ohio Senate Chambers. File Photo

Senators George Lang, Niraj Antani, Mark Romanchuk and Bill Reineke were elected to the chamber after having served in the Ohio House of Representatives during the 133rd General Assembly.



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Tyler Buchanan
Tyler Buchanan

Tyler Buchanan is an award-winning journalist who has covered Ohio politics and government for the past decade. A Bellevue native and graduate of Bowling Green State University, he most recently spent 6 1/2 years as a reporter and editor of The Athens Messenger and Vinton-Jackson Courier newspapers. He is a member of the BG News Alumni Society Board and was a 2019 fellow in the Kiplinger Program in Public Affairs Journalism.