SHEFFIELD — Nathan Manning will follow in his parents’ footsteps and serve in the Ohio Legislature.
Manning, a Republican lawyer, beat out Avon Lake attorney Brendan Mackin, a Democrat, to replace term-limited state Rep. Matt Lundy, D-Elyria, according to unofficial election returns from the Lorain County Board of Elections.
The results show that Manning took 16,652 votes, or 56 percent, to Mackin’s 13,180 votes, or 44 percent.
Manning, 32, is the son of the late county Prosecutor Jeff Manning, who also served as a state representative. His mother, state Sen. Gayle Manning, R-North Ridgeville, won her own re-election bid Tuesday.
Manning, who works as a private practice attorney and prosecutor for North Ridgeville, said he views jobs and the economy as the key issues that he will be dealing with, but he doesn’t have any legislation he plans to immediately introduce.
“You don’t necessarily go down there with an agenda,” he said. “You listen to the constituents in your district.”
Mackin also comes from a well-known political family. His father, John Mackin, who died earlier this year, served as Avon Lake Municipal Court judge for years.
Mackin, 45, said he ran a good race but was vastly outspent by his opponent and state Republicans. Pre-election campaign finance reports indicate that state Republicans poured $447,580 in in-kind contributions into backing Manning.
“I know him as a professional colleague, and I’m sure he’ll do a good job,” Mackin said. “I hope he’s strong enough to represent the interests of the district rather than the interests of those who paid for his campaign.”
The campaign included a string of attack ads from Columbus-based Republican organizations that attacked Mackin, largely based on a bad review found in his personnel file at county Prosecutor Dennis Will’s office. Will called the attack ads “unfair” and said they ignored other, more positive reviews that Mackin earned while working for him.
Mackin resigned from Will’s office in 2010 and now serves as a prosecutor and assistant law director in Stow.
Manning, who has said he didn’t know about the negative ads and couldn’t stop them, said Tuesday that while grassroots campaigning was important, advertising also played a key role in his victory.