Zanesville lawmaker selected as Jimmy Stewart's replacement

Troy Balderson

The Associated Press

A state representative from Zanesville is being recommended by a Republican screening committee to fill the Ohio Senate seat vacated by Jimmy Stewart of Albany.

Troy Balderson, who represents the 94th District comprised of Coshocton County and part of Muskingum County, will be sworn in during today’s Senate session. He was one of five candidates interviewed Tuesday by a screening committee, with one of the other candidates being Athens County Auditor Jill Thompson.

Asked if she had any thoughts on what tipped the scales in Balderson’s favor, Thompson said not at this time. Prior to the announcement of the decision, some Republicans said the fact that Balderson already holds state office might work in his favor.

“Troy Balderson has been an outstanding representative for his district, and his leadership and experience will be a great addition to the Ohio Senate,” said Senate President Tom Niehaus. “His experience running a small family business will give our caucus valuable perspective as we continue our efforts to create an environment in this state that encourages and supports job growth.”

Balderson is serving his second term in the Ohio House. He graduated from Zanesville High School and attended Muskingum College and Ohio State University. He is co-owner of Balderson Motor Sales and assists in the operation of a family owned farm.

In May, Stewart announced he would leave the Senate after the state budget process was completed and would become president of the Ohio Gas Association. His departure from the Senate was effective midnight June 30.

In addition to Balderson and Thompson, others seeking the Senate appointment were Meigs County Commissioner Mike Bartrum, Guernsey County Twp. Trustee Donald Warnock and Zanesville attorney Jeanette Moll.

The screening committee consisted of Republican senators.

The Athens County Commissioners, who held their regular meeting Tuesday, did not officially adjourn so that they could reconvene this morning if Thompson were selected and they needed to appoint an interim county auditor.

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