Republican Steve Stivers won 66.22 percent of the vote to reclaim his seat as Ohio’s 15th District House representative, defeating Democrat Scott Wharton and winning his fourth term.
In Athens County, Wharton received 59.24 percent of the vote, while Stivers claimed 40.76 percent. Wharton is an Ohio University alumnus.
“I’m extremely happy,” Ryan Evans, the vice president of the Ohio University College Republicans, said. “We had two (OU) College Republicans interns on his campaign. It’s a testament to how much work they’ve done and how much work we have done.”
Stivers became the representative for the 15th District in 2011, replacing Democrat Mary Jo Kilroy, who served from 2009 to 2011. He also defeated Wharton in 2014.
“Scott Wharton has been fighting an uphill battle in a district that has an incredibly low democratic performance index,” John Haseley, chair of the Athens County Democratic Party, said. “Scott Wharton has worked so hard and he’s such a good guy. … He will someday be a great member of Congress.”
Stivers, an Ohio State University alumnus from Ripley, represents 12 counties in the 15th U.S. House District. The 15th District includes all of Athens, Clinton, Fairfield, Hocking, Madison, Morgan, Perry, Pickaway and Vinton counties along with parts of Fayette, Franklin and Ross counties.
“I am honored that the voters of the 15th Congressional District have entrusted me to represent them for another term,” Stivers said in a news release.
Stivers focused on programs during his career to create jobs and promote economic growth. Two of his bills, which called to rename postal facilities in Ohio’s 15th District after fallen veterans, made their way to the Oval Office for presidential approval. He served 30 years in the Ohio Army National Guard. He holds the rank of Colonel.
Stivers has served three terms on the Financial Services Committee in the House of Representatives. The committee is in charge of banking, insurance, real estate, public and assistant housing, and security industries. Before serving the public, Stivers also worked in finance in the private sector for the Ohio Company and Bank One.
Additionally, Stivers has been part of the Committee on Rules, which determines what bills reach the House Floor for a vote.
Stivers has been vocal about fighting the war against the opiate epidemic in the United States. He cosponsored a bill signed into action in November 2015 to ensure federal response to Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome, a condition where a baby is born addicted to drugs.
“America faces many challenges and deserves leaders who will focus on solving problems,” Stivers said in a news release. “I look forward to getting back to work to balance our budget, create an atmosphere for jobs, and to ensure our military remains the best fighting force in the world.”
Originally published for The Post on November 8, 2016. Appeared in print on November 9, 2016.