Valentine, Lear vie for Ohio House seat


The winner of the Ohio House of Representatives 61st District race in the General Election on Nov. 8 will be a newcomer — Republican Beth Lear or Democrat Louise Valentine.

The winner will be representing residents in eastern Delaware County, as well as Centerburg and Fredericktown. Lear and Valentine are on the ballots in Berkshire, Genoa, Harlem, Kingston, Orange, Porter and Trenton townships, the city of Sunbury, the northern-most portions of Columbus and Westerville, and the village of Galena.

Looking at the candidates’ most recent Facebook posts as of the afternoon of Oct. 13, Lear expressed concern about a Franklin County school district, while Valentine congratulated the Delaware County EMS for winning two national awards. Earlier in the week, only Valentine appeared at a Candidates Night event in Harlem Township.

Here are profiles of the candidates, in alphabetical order.

Beth Lear

“Beth Lear is a battle-tested fighter putting America and Ohio First,” said her website. “Beth Lear is a graduate of Olentangy High School and The Ohio State University, a veteran, a Republican patriot, a parent and grandparent, and a small business owner. She knows firsthand what it means to defend the U.S. and Ohio Constitutions.”

Lear’s website said her priorities include restoring integrity to education by returning to an academic focus, keeping males out of female sports, and advocating parental rights; getting the economy on track by stopping “Bidenflation,” eliminating excessive regulations and lower taxes, advocating for energy independence, protecting small businesses from government mandates, protecting Ohio families and parents’ rights in education and health care, making adoption easier and less expensive, and supporting local first responders.

“Our very way of life is being threatened, and we must fight for our values,” she is quoted as saying on her website. “We’ll never get our nation back if we don’t take a stand right now. Join me.”

Lear defeated short-term incumbent Shawn Stevens, of Sunbury, in the August primary, winning 58% of the vote.

For more information, visit

Louise Valentine

“Bringing common-sense, reasonable leaders to the Statehouse is how we protect Ohio’s freedoms,” Valentine said in a Facebook post. A resident of Genoa Township, Valentine has degrees from The Ohio State University, and after a career in the clothing industry, is deputy director of the nonprofit LEAD Ohio.

Valentine’s website framed the issues in terms of giving constituents freedom — the freedom to learn, freedom from violence, economic freedom, freedom from government overreach, and the freedom to pursue your dreams.

On her Facebook post, Valentine said she just had a door slammed in her face as she was canvassing by an apolitical person. “People are fed up,” she said. “Our politics are so screwed up right now. There’s no civility, there’s no moderation. It just feels like one extreme or another, and I’m really hoping that if I’m elected that I’ll be able to help bring that civility to the Statehouse and be a force for change.”

Valentine ran unopposed in the August primary.

For more information, visit

“Voters in Westerville and Genoa Township-area precincts, your polling location may have changed!” said the Delaware County Board of Elections.

For more information on the general election, visit or



This map shows the boundaries of the 61st District. map shows the boundaries of the 61st District. Courtesy map |

By Gary Budzak

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Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County. He may be reached at the above email address or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.

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