Incumbents Jay Hottinger (R-Newark) and Bill Hayes (R-Pataskala) retained their seats representing Licking County residents in the Ohio House of Representatives, according to final, unofficial results Nov. 6 from the Licking County Board of Elections.
Hottinger, who has represented the 71st Ohio House District since 2007, received 31,912 votes while his opponent, Democrat Brady Jones, received 19,739 votes.
"It's always a great honor to represent the people of Licking County," Hottinger said. "I am humbled that such a large percentage of the voters trust me enough and respect me enough to be their voice on important issues."
Hottinger serves on the House's health and aging committee and is chairman of the insurance committee. He also is one of the legislators who serve on the State Controlling Board, which oversees some capital and operating expenditures by state agencies.
Jones, a Newark resident, said he has concerns about term limits, but his concern wasn't shared by voters, who decided to retain Hottinger.
The 71st District's new boundaries, redrawn last year, still include 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.
Hayes, who now represents the 72nd Ohio House District, received 29,283 votes and his opponent, Democrat David Dilly, received 21,652 votes.
Hayes said the 130th General Assembly still had a lot of work to do, with the biggest issue being the economy.
He said the state needs to help create jobs, but the government generally needs to "get out of the way so investors and job creators can come to Ohio and create jobs for us."
Dilly, a Coshocton resident, said he learned a lot from the election and feels he was a winner because of it.
"I consider myself a winner because of the things I got to do and the people I got to meet," Dilly said. "It was an honor to be part of the process."
The 72nd District formerly was the 91st. The district's new boundaries encompass about half of Licking County -- primarily its eastern and southern portions -- and much of Coshocton and Perry counties. The district also touches the eastern city limits of Pataskala and Reynoldsburg.