Republican candidate Jay Edwards took the state representative seat for Ohio’s 94th District Tuesday night with 57.82 percent of the popular vote.
Edwards took the majority vote in Meigs, Vinton and Washington counties, while Democratic candidate Sarah Grace took Athens County. Edwards brought in a total of 28,649 votes to Grace’s total of 20,897.
Edwards has a history with Athens County, having grown up in Nelsonville, Ohio. He attended and played football for Ohio University.
“He has a lot of power,” Sam Miller, Ohio University College Democrats president, said. “He and his family and this district know who he is.”
Both Edwards and Grace were new to the political scene in their campaigns for the 94th District. The current Rep. Debbie Phillips reached her term limit after serving since 2012, leaving the 94th District without an incumbent to fall back on.
With two new candidates on the ballot, the counties comprised within the district were bombarded with opposing policy issues spanning from education to women’s rights.
“It’s devastating and the fact that the people of the 94th District think he should represent us is disgusting,” Miller said.
“It’s absolutely been a positive experience. It has been so wonderful to meet so many people that really care about our communities all throughout the district,” Grace said.
Edwards’ positions focus on keeping jobs local, increasing funding for job training, protecting gun rights and fighting back against the drug crisis in Ohio.
“I hope that my opponent and other republicans that are running, that have spoken about bipartisanship will really follow through on that, and I hope that we can work together to really make this area stronger,” Grace said.
Grace’s campaign manager, Nathan Cotton, expressed his appreciation for Grace and the community that came out and supported her at the polls.
“We ran a campaign and made people vote for us instead of against the other guy, which this year is something really to be proud of,” Cotton said. “We’re taking solace in that even though the outcome is not what we wanted.”