In the 2022 general election, 17 of the Ohio State Senate‘s 33 seats were up for grabs. As of January 2023, seven of those seats are held by members of the Democratic Party, and 26 are held by members of the Republican Party.
Four new Democratic state senators and three new Republican state senators have been sworn in to represent their constituents in the new legislative session.
State Senator Michele Reynolds (R-Grove City) was born in Kankakee, Illinois. She graduated with a master’s degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in 2016 after receiving a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati in 1998. She has worked as a nonprofit CEO and a business owner throughout her career. 2019 saw Reynolds elected as a trustee for Madison Township. She assumed office as state senator on January 1. Her current term ends on December 31, 2026.
“It is a dream come true, but it is only the beginning. We still have a lot of work to do together to improve the quality of life for all Ohioans. I worked hard on this campaign to earn your vote, and I will work even harder as your state senator,” Reynolds said.
State Senator Catherine Ingram (D-Hamilton County) lifelong resident of Cincinnati, began her career as a public affairs and customer service professional; she then served on the Cincinnati Public School Board for more than 20 years, presiding as president and vice president throughout her tenure. While serving, she was also named to serve on the All-Ohio School Board before being elected to the Ohio House in 2016. She assumed office as state senator on January 1. Her current term ends on December 31, 2026.
I am running “to be another voice for those who are heard but often ignored…and continue to fight for fair voting opportunities, affordable living, and eliminating the ” weakest link”.” Ingram said.
State Senator Paula Hicks-Hudson (D-Lucas County) is a former Ohio mayor of Toledo. The Toledo City Council first appointed Hicks-Hudson to the office in 2015. On November 7, 2017, a reelection bid for Hicks-Hudson was unsuccessful. Hudson once served as Toledo City Council District 4 representative. In response to Michael Ashford’s departure, she was chosen to serve on the council temporarily in January 2011. In November 2011, she was elected to a full term, which she held until being appointed mayor. She assumed office as state Senator on January 1. Her current term ends on December 31, 2026.
“I understand the interplay between state and local government. While there is a lot of focus on national issues, state action has a more direct effect on the lives of Ohioans,” Hicks-Hudson said.
State Senator Shane Wilkin (R-Ross County) spent three terms as a commissioner for Highland County. He holds a real estate agent license. Wilkin presided over the Ohio Valley Regional Development Commission when he was appointed to the Ohio House of Representatives. He assumed office as state senator on January 1. His current term ends on December 31, 2026.
“I have worked tirelessly to help businesses remain open during the pandemic and bring significant resources back to our community to create jobs so the families of our district can thrive. I have been able to use my experience as a small business owner to cut wasteful government spending and put more money back into your pocket where it belongs,” Wilkin said.
State Senator Kent Smith (D-Cuyahoga County) Smith graduated with a B.S. in 1988 from Miami University and an M.S. in Urban Studies in 2001 from Cleveland State University. His professional background includes co-authoring the book Please God Save Us and serving as a prosecutor in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutors Office from 2004 to 2012. He assumed office as state senator on January 1. His current term ends on December 31, 2026.
“I am going to show up, do the work and fight for those who sent me to Columbus,” Smith said.
State Senator William Demora (D-Franklin County) currently holds the positions of Secretary and member of the Central and Executive Committees of the Ohio Democratic Party. He has held executive director positions with the Ohio Democratic Party and the Ohio League of Conservation Voters in the past. Demora graduated with honors from Ohio State University. He assumed office as state senator on January 1. His current term ends on December 31, 2026.
“I’ve been a Democrat my entire life. From the time I was five years old, walking and passing out literature for my father who was a councilman in my hometown, to the present…where I’m now proud to be YOUR candidate for the Ohio State Senate, District 25,” Demora said.
State Senator Al Landis (R-Muskingum County) served as the District 98 representative in the Ohio House of Representatives. In 2011, Landis took over. Landis resigned on December 31, 2018. The term limitations in the Ohio House of Representatives prevented him from standing for reelection in 2018. He assumed office on January 1. His current term ends on December 31, 2026.
“I am excited at the prospect of being able to serve in the Ohio Senate to continue delivering results for the hardworking people of our area during these most challenging times,” Landis said.
These seven new Ohio Senators now join alongside the other 26 elected or re-elected senators to create laws and establish a state budget.
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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Michele Reynolds” by Michele Reynolds. Photo “Catherine Ingram” by Ohio Statehouse. Photo “Shane Wilkin” by Ohio House of Representatives. Photo “Paula Hicks-Hudson” by Paula Hicks-Hudson for Ohio Senate District 11. Photo “Kent Smith” by Kent Smith. Photo “Al Landis” by State Representative Al Landis. Photo “William DeMora” by Bill DeMora. Background Photo “Ohio Senate Chamber” by harry_nl. CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.