Three Candidates Compete for an Ohio Senate Appointment


Three people have applied for the soon-to-be vacant 8th District Senate seat currently held by State Senator Lou Terhar (R-Green Township). According to Gongwer, the candidates are State Representative Louis Blessing III (R-Colerain Township), former Rep. Jonathan Dever from Cincinnati and Judith Boyce, a former municipal clerk for Cleves.

As reported by The Ohio Star, Senator Terhar sent a letter on August 30, 2019 to Senate President Larry Obhof, explaining his intent to leave office the end of September.

Terhar’s public announcement followed on Facebook September 3rd, “I have been honored to serve the residents of the Ohio House 30th District and the Ohio Senate District 8 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.”


On September 4th, President Obhof provided information about the upcoming appointment process. Applications were due by 4:00 PM Friday, September 20, 2019 which resulted in the three applicants.

Rep. Blessing has served in the Ohio House of Representatives since 2013. He is in his fourth and final term representing the citizens of the 29th House District in western Hamilton County.

Blessing is the Chair of the House Education Committee and serves on the Finance and Public Utilities Committees. He also works in the private sector as a licensed professional engineer for Super Systems, Inc.

Applicant Jonathan Dever represented the 28th Ohio House District until his defeat by Democrat Jessica Miranda in 2018. The race was so close it ended in a recount; Dever conceded on November 30th.

He said on Facebook, “This morning the Hamilton County Board of Elections began the recount for the 28th District. Upon the conclusion of the hand recount and seeing no change in vote totals, I have asked date Board to discontinue the recount…”


Dever is an attorney with Dever Hoberg LLC.

The third candidate for the appointment is Judith Boyce. The former municipal clerk ran unsuccessfully for the 33rd House District last fall. The Cincinnati area is overwhelmingly Democratic and the current Representative, Sedrick Denson (D-Cincinnati) defeated Boyce with more than 75% of the vote.

Although Senator Terhar intends to leave the end of September, the Ohio Senate has not given a date by when they plan to appoint his successor.

Once chosen, the new Senator will be the fourth member of the upper house appointed this year.

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to [email protected].

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