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State Rep. Craig Riedel visits with Seneca Co. Commissioners, Mohawk students Friday

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State Rep. Craig Riedel poses for a photo before lunch Friday afternoon at Jolly's in Tiffin. (Photo submitted)

TIFFIN — State Rep. Craig Riedel (R-Defiance), who serves as 82nd Ohio House District state representative, spent time reconnecting with familiar people and places in Tiffin, Seneca County and at Mohawk High School Friday.

Riedel grew up in Sycamore and attended Mohawk schools in his younger years before his family moved to Attica when he was 10. He graduated from Seneca East High School in 1984, and he said Seneca County will always have a special place in his heart.

“This is home, you just feel it in your heart,” he said.

Riedel kicked off his trip in the area Friday afternoon at the Seneca County Commissioners’ office. Riedel met with fellow Seneca East grad and Seneca County Commissioner Shayne Thomas briefly, before the two walked through downtown Tiffin.

Riedel remarked on the positive development of the area and posed for a photo in front of the Seneca County Justice Center. Shortly after, Riedel and Thomas joined Commissioner Anthony Paradiso for lunch at a Tiffin staple, Jolly’s.

Riedel talked with Jolly’s owner Diane Hassinger and posed for a photo in front of the iconic Jolly’s sign. Riedel said he remembers attending Jolly’s back when he was a kid.

During lunch, the commissioners and Riedel discussed the latest news from the state and county.

“I enjoyed being able to show Representative Riedel the many great things happening in downtown Tiffin,” Thomas said. “What better way to discuss state issues that affect Seneca County than to enjoy a lunch of hot dogs and root beer at Jolly’s.”

After lunch, Riedel took the short drive south on SR 231 to Mohawk High School, where he met with family members and spoke to more than 100 juniors who are taking a government class.

The speech at the school was organized by Riedel’s relative, Mohawk student Carlee Hummel.

Student Council President Brody Ekleberry introduced Riedel to the group of students who assembled in the performing arts center of the high school.

Riedel discussed his professional and political background, which included a 27-year long career in the private sector with Nucor Vulcraft Group. Riedel was elected to serve the 82nd Ohio House District, which includes Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert counties, as well as part of Auglaize County, in 2016.

Riedel explained to the students how the government is structured and how a bill becomes a law. He discussed his job and said he serves on the Higher Education, Economic and Workforce Development, Federalism and Ways and Means Committees.

Riedel also expressed to students that they should believe in democracy because the system works. He told them our state and our country’s future is in their hands, so they should become involved.

Riedel left the students with a message of encouragement to dream big and work hard.

“Do the right thing, treat people with kindness and have faith that God has a plan for you,” he said during the assembly. Riedel said speaking to students at the school in an area he calls home was one of the proudest moments he’s had since becoming a state representative.

“This is one of the greatest honors I’ve gotten since I’ve been in this position,” he said.

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