CORRECTION: A previous version of this article stated Mount Vernon attorney Scott Pullins was slated to run against Carfagna in the May 3 primary election. This was inaccurate. Pullins would not have faced Carfagna in the primary, as new legislative districts would have been drawn by that point, placing the candidates in separate districts. We apologize for the error.
COLUMBUS – State Representative Rick Carfagna announced Tuesday he will be resigning from the Ohio House of Representatives to accept a position with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce as Senior Vice President of Government Affairs.
The date of Carfagna’s resignation will be finalized once his starting date with the Chamber is determined.
He currently represents the 68th House District, which includes the eastern half of Delaware County and all of Knox County. He will not be running for re-election.
Carfagna (R-Genoa Township) made the announcement in an open letter to the citizens of Delaware and Knox counties, saying the opportunity to serve them “has been the greatest honor of my life.”
The text of the letter is below.
“The privilege to work in this capacity is one that few will ever realize,” Carfagna wrote. “I hope that I have governed in a manner that has made you proud. I have tried my very best to be productive, respectful, bipartisan and positive in my messaging and in my areas of focus,
“People are more complex than politicians acknowledge, embodying a myriad of interests, beliefs and life experiences. Your personal situation is more than a bumper sticker slogan and I’ve tried to reflect that in my careful consideration of policy matters.”
Speaker Bob Cupp (R-Lima) said Carfagna is a thoughtful, diligent lawmaker who is passionate about improving the lives of others and opportunity in Ohio.
“Rick is a legislator’s legislator,” Cupp said. “He’s tackled many important issues and has never been afraid to roll up his sleeves and do the hard work necessary to craft sound public policy. He will be missed in the Ohio House, but I know he will continue having a positive impact on Ohio in his new position.”
Mount Vernon attorney Scott Pullins, who declared his candidacy for the Ohio House of Representatives last week, congratulated Carfagna on his announcement.
“I congratulate Rick on his new job. He will be well suited to this organization,” Pullins said in a statement Tuesday. “I’ve been asked if I will seek the appointment to fill the remainder of his term. My answer is no. While I could hold the seat for the remainder of his term, I am running for election in what will be HD 98. Knox County will not be in that new district.”
Carfagna said that while he had planned to seek a final two-year term in the Ohio House, the new opportunity to join the Ohio Chamber of Commerce is one that will allow him to continue shaping public policy to advance the economic well-being and quality of life for all Ohioans.
“We are so fortunate in Central Ohio to live in the cradle of prosperity, but we have much work ahead to make the rest of the state a welcoming, prosperous place for all Ohioans,” Carfagna wrote. “I am not walking away from the public arena, but shifting to a different capacity to promote the ideas that will enrich and advance your respective American Dreams.”
Pullins chimed in with some advice for Ohio Speaker of the House Bob Cupp.
“I am sick and tired of Columbus politicians picking our representatives for us,” Pullins said. “If Speaker Cupp was smart, then he would wait until after the primary in May, or whenever it is held, and pick the winner of it for this seat.
“For me, I intend to seek the endorsement of the Knox County Republican Party and the endorsement of the Republican voters in newly drawn HD 98. This district includes all of Knox County, and parts of Holmes and Morrow.”
State Representative Rick Carfagna is currently serving his third term in the Ohio House of Representatives. He serves the 68th House District, which covers the eastern half of Delaware County and all of Knox County.