FREMONT — Bill Reineke Jr. won the Republican nomination Tuesday to represent the Ohio 88th House District, which covers Sandusky County and most of Seneca County.
Propelled by a strong Seneca County voter turnout, the Tiffin car dealer garnered 49 percent of the vote in a three-way contest of write-in candidates. Reineke received 2,247 votes to 1,657 votes for Rhonda Damschroder, of Fremont; and 717 votes for Richard Geyer of Fremont, reported the elections boards in Sandusky and Seneca counties.
Rhonda Damschroder is the wife of current state Rep. Rex Damschroder, R-Fremont, and she was attempting to be a “place holder” for her husband, whose nominating petitions were invalidated after he failed to include all necessary signatures. If she had been nominated, the Republican central committees in each county could have voted to restore Rex Damschroder to his House seat, effective Jan. 1.
Reineke, 59, of 5209 S. Ohio 231, Tiffin, is president of Reineke family’s Ford Lincoln dealership, Tiffin. The family owns dealerships in Fostoria, Lima, North Baltimore, Upper Sandusky and Findlay. He also is state director of the National Automobile Dealers Association.
Reineke drew 71 percent of the vote in his home county, Seneca. Seneca County also had a bigger voter turnout, with 2,450 votes cast in the race. In Sandusky County, 2,171 Republicans voted in the race, and Damschroder got 57 percent of them.
Results are unofficial and include absentee ballots. Reineke will face Democrat Bill Young, 62, of Green Springs, in November.
Vote totals by county were:
Seneca County: Damschroder, 417; Reineke Jr., 1,740; and Geyer, 293.
Sandusky County: Damschroder, 1,240; Reineke Jr., 507; Geyer, 424.