Johnstown Independent

No primary needed for 31st Senate District race


Democrat John Carlisle and Republican Jay Hottinger will run for the Ohio Senate District 31 seat on the Nov. 4 ballot.

No May primary is necessary because Carlisle and Hottinger were the only candidates from their respective parties to file and be certified by the Licking County Board of Elections.

The winner of the November election will replace Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster), who first was elected in 2006 and is ineligible to run for re-election because of term limits.

Carlisle, 56, of Millersport, is an Etna Township trustee.

He said he decided to run because "this really is a time for change."

Carlisle questioned the state legislature's decision to cut local-government funds and school funding and the plan to consolidate services locally to save money. He said townships and cities have been sharing resources for years and operate efficiently.

He has served 13 years as an Etna Township trustee and was elected to his fourth term in November 2013.

Carlisle is on the board of directors for the Ohio Township Association and has served on the Licking County Planning Commission, the Licking County Health Department board and with the Licking County Township Trustees Association.

Hottinger, 43, of Newark, currently represents the 71st Ohio House District, but like Schaffer, he has reached the term limit of eight consecutive years.

Hottinger said this will be his 11th election and he's been campaigning for the past year in what he called a "very large district." The 31st Senate District includes all of Fairfield, Hocking, Licking and Perry counties and portions of Pickaway County.

Hottinger began his political career on Newark City Council and was elected to the Ohio House of Representatives in 1994.

He served in the House from 1995-97 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.