In 2008 the Republicans didnt even field a candidate against Democrat Todd Book in the race for Ohios 89th District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives now the voters have elected one. A thunderous applause and cheers that lasted around five minutes broke out shortly after 10 p.m. Tuesday when Dr. Terry Johnson walked through the door at the Scioto County Court House. I feel that we are at the end of a very long journey, Johnson said. We started this last summer. And I emphasize the we. This isnt about me. Its about everybody on our team and everybody that believed that we could win this. And tonight our destiny is fulfilled. Johnson, a Scioto County physician who served two tours of duty in Iraq defeated another Scioto County resident, Democrat Ron Hadsell, in a district that extends into Lawrence and Adams counties. Johnson picked up 13,660 votes to Hadsells 9,356 and Lamberts 324 votes in Scioto County. In Adams County Johnson picked up 2,088 votes to Hadsells 914 and Lamberts 75. In Lawrence County it was 4,707 for Johnson, 3,637 for Hadsell. Hadsell found himself playing catch-up right out of the chute after defeating Mike Crabtree for the Democratic nomination. Crabtree had been anointed by the Ohio Democratic party, and Hadsell took him down, leading to a conflict within the ranks of the party when Crabtree turned around and endorsed Johnson. Crabtree was taken to task by Scioto County Democratic Party Chairman Randy Basham, who referred to him as a turncoat. Johnson came through the Republican primary unscathed, and had momentum going into the campaign. We know what our priority is here in Scioto County. Its what is killing us. Its prescription drug abuse. Its getting our community healed. Its bringing people back together, Johnson said. My base goes Independent, goes Democrat, goes Republican. Thats where it is. I want people to come over and help me. I want to help them. And I want to move the community forward. In January 2011 Johnson will replace Book who is a victim of Ohios term limits law. Book had announced he would be a candidate for Ohios 2nd Congressional District, but backed out due to the heavy workload he had in Columbus, most notably Ohios two-year budget which occupied much of the attention of legislators in 2009. Johnson, Scioto County Coroner, received his largest endorsement when the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #33 chose to get behind him. Johnson was asked about his plans when he arrives in Columbus to take the 89th District seat. Im coming out swinging, Johnson said. Im hitting the deck with both feet, and Im running. We saw it coming but you cant say something like this is coming. The minute you say it, it evaporates. We knew we were ahead back in the summer. We had a set of polls that showed us ahead decisively, and another set of polls three weeks ago showed us the same thing. We kept that very close to the vest. And we just told people that we had a chance to win this if we all kept working hard and kept our hearts pure. Early in the evening scores of Hadsell supporters gathered around the video tabulation screen. However, around 10 p.m. that crowd appeared to be replaced by Johnson supporters. Hadsell was not reachable by phone by the Times deadline.
Frank Lewis may be reached at (740) 353-3101, ext. 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.