Following state Rep. Kris Jordan’s sudden passing in February, Brian Lorenz has been tabbed to fulfill the unexpired term for the 60th District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Lorenz, a Republican from Powell who ran against Jordan in the 2018 Republican primary election, was identified by the Delaware County Republican Party to serve as Jordan’s successor and was sworn in earlier this week. Because there is no election for an unexpired term in the Ohio House, Lorenz will serve the remainder of Jordan’s term, which is set to expire on Dec. 31, 2024.
“I am humbled and honored to have received the appointment to fulfill the term of the late Representative Kris Jordan,” Lorenz said in a press release. “I will represent the constituents of the 60th House District with the highest level of integrity and transparency while defending our constitutional freedoms, improving infrastructure and development all while keeping government lean and efficient.”
Lorenz had served as a member of Powell City Council since 2010, including a stint as mayor from 2016-17, and also represented the city as a member of the Powell Community Improvement Corporation and previously served on the Planning and Zoning Commission for six years.
“I have a deep desire to serve,” Lorenz told The Gazette of his decision to contend for the appointment. “I feel very strongly about being called to serve, and I think that’s evident in my time on council and running in the primary in 2018.”
Although he admitted leaving his roles in the Powell community is bittersweet, he said he’s looking forward to still being able to have an impact on the Powell residents while also greatly expanding the number of people he will serve.
“The other side of that story is I’m still accountable to the Powell voters as well, so that gives me great pride and joy, that I’ll be able to continue to support those folks as well as other folks in the county,” he said.
Since coming up short in the 2018 primary election, Lorenz always considered running again for the House seat when it became available, although he wasn’t expecting that moment to come this soon.
“Unfortunately, with Kris’ untimely passing, that timeline accelerated and I had to seize the opportunity,” he said, later adding that he’d much rather prefer Jordan still be serving the district and himself still waiting for the next opportunity.
As for what he’s most looking forward to addressing as he begins his work, Lorenz laid out a few primary objectives centered around bringing more economic development to Delaware County.
“With my background in planning and zoning, I’m very interested in helping to bolster economic development here in our county and working with our county engineer and other county party leaders to help improve infrastructure,” he said. “I think and feel very strongly the U.S. Route 23 corridor needs to be enhanced and improved. I think we need to really work on U.S. Route 36/state Route 37 as well. I’m a big proponent of having shovel-ready sites for our county and improving roads with all the growth we have. It’s imperative we make those modifications to help streamline commerce because, at the end of the day, what that does is it lessens the cost of goods and services, and that saves Delaware taxpayers a lot of money and puts more money in their pockets.”
Asked what constituents can expect from him as their representative, Lorenz said he plans to be an “open book” who will be present and accountable in the communities he serves.
“They can expect transparency, they can expect answers, and they can expect accessibility,” he went on to say. “I have a lot of plans to hold office hours all throughout the county at different times that are going to be convenient for residents. … I just really love engaging with constituents, so they can expect me to be accountable to them, to participate in dialogue, and just be really immersed in the communities as I have been the past 13 years.”
The 60th District consists of the western half of Delaware County, which includes the cities of Delaware and Powell, along with the villages of Ashley and Ostrander.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.