Shayne Thomas (R-Clinton Township) has been out and about in Sandusky and Seneca counties over the past several weeks, pounding the pavement for his campaign to be the next state representative of the 88th Ohio House district.
Thomas, who currently serves as a Seneca County Commissioner, attended the Casino Royale event hosted by the Seneca Regional Chamber of Commerce on Saturday, calling it a “busy night with the local Chamber of Commerce business community.”
“It’s great to get so many community leaders together for a good time for a good cause,” Thomas said.
On Sunday, Thomas was going door-to-door in Clyde meeting voters and handing out literature.
Thomas has been spending his day Monday in Woodville, saying “the folks [there] couldn’t have been nicer.”
“I got a tour of the cutest Ann Hathaway cottage, got to check out a Heavy Chevy in restoration, and I had a voter give me a warm peanut butter cookie,” Thomas said.
Thomas added that he was chowing down on some vegetable soup before attending the Woodville Council meeting later Monday evening.
Ohio’s current 88th district State Representative Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) is term-limited, meaning he can’t run for re-election to that seat, so he’s now seeking a promotion to state senator.
In addition to Shayne Thomas, two other candidates are vying for the Republican nomination in the March primary election: controversial pastor Gary Click and Fremont-based environmental engineer Ed Ollom.
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.
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.”
Click is a former community theater actor and currently works as a pastor at Fremont Baptist Temple. Click, one of the first candidates for state office from our area without any private sector experience, currently serves on the Republican State Central Committee, representing the 26th Senate district.
Click has come under fire after a video surfaced showing him berating a female GOP candidate for the Ohio Senate, Melissa Ackison, calling her “trash,” a “phony,” and other insults.
Back when rumors were flying high about Click’s potential candidacy, Seneca County Republican Party chairwoman Vanessa Treft said in a voicemail that Click is only running for State Representative “for his own personal gain.”
“[Click] is only doing all this bullsh*t for his own personal gain, and I’m f*cking tired of it,” Treft said.
In addition, following statewide media reports of the video which showed Click berating Ackison, State Rep. Bill Reineke (R-Tiffin) distanced himself from Click.
“Mr. Click was not asked to attend the fair on behalf of our campaign and does not represent the campaign,” the statement from Reineke’s office said.
Click is currently embroiled in a legal battle with Ackison over defamation, slander, and other accusations.
Click unsuccessfully ran for Sandusky County Commissioner in 2016, losing in a three-way Republican primary.
Click has been endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party in the race for state representative.
Ed Ollom is a 1991 graduate of Lakota High School. He graduated in 1996 from Terra State Community College and in 2003 and 2006 from the University of Findlay with a bachelor’s degree and master’s degree in environmental science.
Ollom works as an environmental engineer at National Electric Carbon in Fostoria.
Ollom says he believes Gary Click is “not the chosen one” for this position, referencing Click’s suggestion that God chose him to run for the seat. He also criticized Click over the viral video which showed him berating Ackison.
“The way Gary Click has treated Melissa Ackison is shameful. I am not addressing the recent lawsuit, but the viral video of him berating her in front of her children. You can advocate for a candidate without attacking their opponent,” Ollom told the Fremont News-Messenger.
Ollom says he is a lifelong Republican.
The primary election will take place March 17. Whoever wins the Republican primary will go on to face current Fremont City Councilman Chris Liebold (D), who is running unopposed in the Democratic primary, in November.