By DENISE GRANT
Findlay’s Robert Sprague on Tuesday won the Republican nomination to be the next state treasurer.
Sprague received 406,622 votes statewide in his bid for the nomination, or about 57.51 percent of the total votes cast. Sandra O’Brien received 300,479 votes or 42.49 percent.
All vote totals are unofficial and include absentee ballots.
Sprague will face Democratic nominee Rob Richardson in the November general election. Richardson was unopposed in his party’s primary election.
“I’m overwhelmed with gratitude for the Republicans who put their trust and confidence in me to be our party’s candidate for treasurer in November,” Sprague said Tuesday night. “I am fully committed to continuing to run a campaign that people can be proud to support, and to serving as treasurer of state with the integrity that Ohioans deserve.”
A first-time candidate for statewide office, Sprague faced a significant challenge against an opponent with a strong ballot name whose resume consists of two previous statewide runs, including an upset in the 2006 Republican primary for treasurer.
“I decided to run for treasurer because I knew that I not only had the ability to execute the core financial and investment duties of the office, but the passion and determination to do so much more,” Sprague said. “Today is just the first step toward fulfilling my vision of transforming the office of the treasurer into a tool to tackle some of our state’s greatest challenges and to making a meaningful difference in the lives of Ohioans.”
Ohio’s treasurer serves as the state’s chief financial officer and banker, with the duty to safeguard taxpayer money.
Sprague, 45, was appointed to represent the 83rd District in the Ohio House in 2011, and was elected to the post in 2012. He was then re-elected as the district’s representative in 2014 and 2016.
The 83rd House District includes Hancock, Hardin and a portion of Logan counties.
There is no incumbent in the state treasurer race. State Treasurer Josh Mandel, a Republican whose term expires next January, did not seek re-election.