MARIETTA - Republicans got a majority of votes for state legislative districts that include Washington County, but only one of them - Marietta resident Andy Thompson - won a seat.
Thompson was elected to the 95th House District seat, while state Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Albany, won a third term. State Sen. Lou Gentile, D-Steubenville, apparently fended off a challenge by St. Clairsville Republican Shane Thompson in the 30th Senate District.
Andy Thompson, co-publisher and director of sales of the family-owned Bird Watcher's Digest and a former Marietta City Councilman, defeated St. Clairsville Democrat Charlie Daniels, a former corrections officer, to win a second term in the Ohio House of Representatives.
"I'm elated to win," Thompson said.
Thompson is completing his first term representing the 93rd District, but now he'll be in the 95th, which includes all of Noble County and a portion of Washington County. However, the city council ward in which Thompson lives is the only part of Marietta in the new district. Meanwhile, Guernsey, Monroe and part of Muskingum County have been replaced with Carroll, Harrison and a portion of Belmont County, making the 95th physically larger than the 93rd.
"My new district is a real challenge. It's stretched me two hours to the north," Thompson said.
To win the support of voters in those new areas, Thompson said he relied on strategies from his previous campaigns for city council and the House.
"I had to knock on a lot of doors," he said. "We got out and met people and did candidate forums."
Thompson said he feels the counties in the new district have a lot in common - they're rural communities that rely on agricultue, coal and oil and natural gas. He tried to emphasize his support of using those natural resources to meet energy and economic needs during the campaign.
The remainder of Marietta is in the new 94th District, which state Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Athens, will represent for the next two years.
She defeated Little Hocking resident Charles Richter, who actually received more votes than her in his home county of Washington.
"I just really appreciate the faith people have shown in me," Phillips said.
Phillips won by the greatest margin in her home county of Athens. A former Athens City Councilwoman, she is in her second term in the Ohio House's 92nd District. The redrawing of lines puts her in the 94th, which trades Morgan County and Athens County's Trimble Township for part of Vinton County and a larger portion of Washington.
"I definitely spent more time campaigning in the areas that were new, just to introduce myself to people," Phillips said.
Gentile was leading Shane Thompson 52 percent to 48 percent, according to the Ohio Secretary of State's website, but Gentile noted there were still votes left to be counted in his home county of Jefferson.