Johnstown Independent

State Rep. Jay Hottinger

Veteran legislator will seek return to Ohio Senate


State Rep. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) recently announced his intention to run in 2014 for the Ohio Senate's 31st District.

Hottinger was a state senator from 1997 to 2006.

He now is in the middle of his fourth consecutive term representing the 71st Ohio House District, and is barred by term limits from seeking re-election to that seat.

He said he hopes instead to return to the Ohio Senate, because he has more work to do and wants to continue to serve Licking County residents.

"I think when you're able to see where you're able to make a difference and have success, you have a desire to stay in office," Hottinger said. "You run for office because you want to make a difference."

The current 31st District senator, Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), was elected in 2006 to replace Hottinger and will be ineligible to run for re-election because of term limits.

Hottinger, 43, began his political career as a Newark City Council member and was first elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1994.

He served from 1995 to 1997 before being appointed to the Ohio Senate.

He was elected to the Senate in 1998 and served until 2006, when he could not run again because of term limits.

Hottinger stayed in the legislature when he ran in 2006 for the Ohio House of Representatives and was re-elected three times.

Hottinger's current House term -- his fourth -- expires Dec. 31, 2014.

He represents the 71st District, which includes about half of Licking County, including most of Pataskala and all of Granville, Heath, Johnstown and Newark. The district also includes a small section of Reynoldsburg.

Hottinger has a bachelor's degree in political science and public administration from Capital University.

He lives in Newark with his wife, Cheri, and three children.