State Sen. Lou Terhar (R-Green Township) notified Senate President Larry Obhof (R-Medina) he was resigning from the Senate in a letter dated August 30, 2019.
According to The Cincinnati Enquirer, Terhar’s letter stated, “Based on the best medical advice available, I have decided to retire from public life and therefore, must tender my resignation as a member of the Ohio Senate.”
Green Township's Lou Terhar resigns from Ohio Senate, citing health concernshttps://t.co/VOtZsq2he3
— Enquirer (@Enquirer) September 3, 2019
No details about the reason for the Senator obtaining medical advice have been mentioned.
Terhar shared the news with the public through his Facebook page Tuesday.
“I have been honored to serve the residents of the Ohio House 30th District and the Ohio Senate 8th District in the Ohio General Assembly for the last 8 years,” he wrote. “I appreciate your kindness as I move to the next phase of my life as I celebrate my 70th birthday this month.”
The senator served three terms in the Ohio House of Representatives and nearly two years in the Senate. He plans to stay through the end of September.
According to Terhar’s post, President Obhof commented, “Lou has been a strong and reliable voice in the Senate for the people of Hamilton County, and his business sense and leadership on various issues, from education to veterans issues to economic development, will be missed. I appreciate his willingness to tackle tough problems and bring solution-oriented ideas to the table. On behalf of the Ohio Senate, we thank him for his service and wish him and Debe [Terhar’s wife] well as they begin the next chapter of their lives.”
Sen. Terhar has a conservative voting record. He’s received a 29% rating from Planned Parenthood and a 100% rating from the Ohio Chamber of Commerce and National Federation of Independent Business in Ohio. The American Conservative Union has ranked him between 88% and 100% during his tenure as a legislator.
Ohio’s Constitution dictates the method by which vacancies occurring between elections are filled. The appointment process is explained in Article II section 11 which states, in part, a vacancy “…shall be filled by election by the members of the Senate or the members of the House of Representatives, as the case may be, who are affiliated with the same political party as the person last elected by the electors to the seat which has become vacant.”
Each Senate district is comprised of three House seats. Senate District 8 includes House Districts 28, 29 and 30. State Rep. Bill Seitz (R-Cincinnati) is not eligible for the appointment because of term limits – he had to leave the Senate and ran for the House in the last election cycle. The 28th House District is held by Democrat Rep. Jessica Miranda (D-Forest Park). Because of her party affiliation, she is ineligible according to the Constitution.
The only currently serving legislator from the Senate district who could be considered for the appointment is Rep. Louis Blessing III (R-Colerain Township) of House District 29. Former elected officials and citizens from the Senate District may apply for the appointment that will be considered by Senate Republicans and approved by a voice vote of the Senate.
Terhar’s replacement will be the fourth Senate appointment this year. Former Sen. Randy Gardner (R-Bowling Green) was chosen to be Chancellor of Higher Education by the governor. He was replaced by then-State Rep. Theresa Gavarone (R-Bowling Green) on February 4.
Newly appointed State Sen. Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) left the 20th Senate District in late March and was replaced by then-State Rep. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster). Former Sen. Joe Uecker (R-Miami Township) left August 31 to take a position with Ohio Department of Transportation. Six people are currently interviewing for the appointment to fill the vacancy in Uecker’s 14th Senate District.
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