Joe Miller held off his three opponents and will be the Democratic candidate in the November general election for the Ohio State House 56th District.
Miller finished with 35 percent, or 3,386 votes, to narrowly defeat Cory Shawver, who finished with 31 percent, or 3,026 votes. Claudia Olaes finished with 22 percent (2,146) and Mark Ballard II received 12 percent (1,216), according to unofficial election results.
“That was a tough race that was heavily contested,” Miller said. “We had four people, three that got out and worked at it. We ended up with one on top, and I’m fortunate to be the one.”
Miller said the race was a bit contentious at times.
“I think that anytime you enter into any competition, your patience can wear thin and your frustrations can sometimes get the best of you,” he said. “Sometimes it’s hard to see the trees for the forest. The biggest thing for us right now is we’re happy to see the residents in 56 choose a candidate they think will represent them well. I’m going to work hard to do it every day, the best I can.”
Shawver was upbeat after the final numbers came in.
“I’m proud of the race we ran,” he said. “I met a lot of great people and new friends along the way that I’ll take with me. I called Mr. Miller, congratulated him and offered him my full support and will do whatever I can to help.”
This also isn’t the end of Shawver’s political career, he said.
“This is my first race. I’m 28. I still got roughly 3,000 votes, and I’m absolutely looking forward,” he said. “I’m not mad or unhappy with what we did. Obviously, I wanted to win, but that isn’t meant to be. I know what to do and not do. I’m going to take it in stride.”
Olaes and Ballard did not return calls Tuesday night.
Miller will face Republican Rob Weber in the general election. Miller said his campaign celebrated Tuesday night, but is gearing up for the next phase.
“First it’s like brother-against-brother pickup ball in the back yard. Now you’re playing for real for the chance to represent the people, which is the general election. I appreciate the opportunity to serve, and I look forward to the next five months of getting ready for the November election.”
The winner of the November election will replace state Rep. Dan Ramos, D-Lorain, who is term-limited.