State representative candidate and current Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas (R-Clinton Township) shared a new campaign video to Facebook this weekend, cracking up in laughter as his cat joins the frame towards the end of the video.
“Hello, I’m Shayne Thomas, and I’m running for state representative in Sandusky and Seneca counties,” Thomas says in the beginning of the video.
Thomas is running in the Republican primary against Fremont-based environmental engineer Ed Ollom, and controversial Fremont pastor Gary Click. The three are facing off to succeed current 88th district State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin), who is term-limited and running for the Ohio Senate.
“People have been asking me, ‘Shayne, why would you run for office?’ You’ve got to pay the campaign, you’ve got to participate in some of this toxic rhetoric,” Thomas said. “For me it’s very simple, it’s about giving back to my community.”
Thomas currently serves as president of the Seneca County Board of Commissioners. Thomas graduated from Seneca East High School in 1986, from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor’s Degree in 1990 and from the University of Wisconsin’s Graduate Banking School in 2004.
“Very few families have been as profoundly impacted by their community as we have,” Thomas said. “Not only have we had tremendous professional opportunities for personal growth, but we’ve been embraced in a way that very few get to experience. So, I can’t really pay that back, all I can do is pay it forward. And the best way to pay it forward for me is through public service.”
Thomas also studied graduate economics and finance at Bowling Green State University. Thomas spent time working for Fifth-Third, National City and First Bank of Ohio from 1990-1999. In 1999, Thomas was named the Vice President of Commercial Banking at Old Fort Bank.
In 2007, he left the bank to become the Vice President of Business Development at MGQ Inc., where he stayed until 2013. He also was a co-founder of MGQ Terminal from 2009-2015.
Thomas serves or has served on several county boards and committees including the Fostoria Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees, the Fostoria Economic Development Corp. board, the Kiwanis Club of Tiffin Board of Trustees, the Leadership Seneca County board, the Ritz Theatre Board, the Sandusky Valley Center Mental Health Center Board, the Seneca County Regional Planning Economic Development Committee, the Tiffin Columbian High School Musical board and the Tiffin-Seneca United Way Board of Trustees.
Thomas’ wife Angela is a professor at Bowling Green State University. They have lived in Clinton Township for 26 years, raising two children.
“The community has been good to me and I want to be able to give back to the community,” Thomas said. “I think it’s going to be a good fit.”