MANSFIELD -- Mark Romanchuk said Tuesday night his experience made the difference in the race for Ohio's 22nd Senate District race.
Romanchuk, an Ontario resident who has represented Richland County in the Ohio House for the past eight years, easily swept to victory on Tuesday, besting Democrat Ryan Hunger.
The district includes all of Richland, Ashland and Medina counties, as well as a portion of Holmes County.
Late Tuesday night, with almost all precincts reporting, Romanchuk had received about 69 percent of the votes, 126,965, compared to 57,381 for Hunger, according to final, unofficial results from the four county boards of election.
In Richland County, Romanchuk received 72 percent of the vote, according to final, unofficial vote totals from the county board of elections. He earned 40,988 votes in the county, compared to 15,626 for Hunger.
Romanchuk received 64 percent of the vote in Medina County late Tuesday night with 98 percent of precincts reporting, beating Hunger, 62,963 to 34,977.
In Ashland County, Romanchuk had 19,136 votes, compared to 5,891 for his opponent.
In the small portion of Holmes County that is part of the 22nd District, Romanchuk got 81 percent of the vote, 3,878 to 887.
"I am grateful to all of the voters in the district, especially all of the people in Richland County who have supported me for the last eight years," the 57-year-old Romanchuk said.
Term limits prevent him from seeking re-election to the House. He will replace Sen. Larry Obhof, a Republican from Medina County, who also could not seek re-election due to term limits.
Romanchuk is the owner and president of PR Machine Works, Inc., a contract manufacturer providing precision machining, fabrication, and assembly services in the city of Ontario.
"I think my experience in the private and now the public sector was probably the deciding factor in the race," Romanchuk said. "It gives me the ability to hit the ground running in the Senate. There is no reason to go through a learning curve."
Romanchuk said his first goal when the new Senate convenes in January is to get the economy going even as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
"The first thing we need to do is continue to protect the most vulnerable parts of our population, including the elderly and those living in congregate care, while we try to grow the economy back to where it was pre-COVID," Romanchuk said.
"The state (economy) is pretty open now. We need to build back the business and consumer confidence that is down right now," Romanchuk said. "We want to get it back where it was and continue on from there."