Gayle Manning will be moving from the Ohio Senate to the Ohio House of Representatives after winning the Ohio 55th District seat over Democrat Kelly Kraus Mencke and Liberterian W. Daniel Fichtel.
Manning, who is term-limited after serving in the Ohio State Senate since 2011, will replace her son, Nathan, in the Ohio House. Manning received 55 percent of the vote, or 23,687 votes, while Kraus Mencke received 18,174 votes, or 42 percent, and Fichtel received 1,051 votes, or 3 percent, according to unofficial results.
“You’re always happy when you win,” Manning said. “I’m excited to be able to serve the people of the 55th. I obviously know them really well because I’ve been involved with them for eight year.”
The race between Manning and Kraus Mencke was closer than some expected, including Kraus Mencke herself.
“It took a lot to run against Gayle Manning,” Kraus Mencke said. “She’s been a senator and she’s so well-known. Even coming this close is really exciting.”
Manning said some voters may not have liked that it looked as if she and her son were switching seats in the General Assembly.
“A lot of people felt that we were switching,” Manning said. “Nathan was running for an open seat, and I was the one switching. I can see where some people didn’t like that. I was encouraged by many people to step up and continue, so that’s what I did.”
Kraus Mencke said she was happy with the campaign despite the challenges she faced.
“All in all, having come into the race late and being asked to run again in the 55th, it was awesome,” she said. “The timing might not have been right, having a 7-month-old daughter and going through so much just before the primary. I did what I could because it was so much bigger than me.”
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