New senator says #039;hello#039; to people of 14th district

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 9, 2005

As your new state senator I thought it would be helpful to tell you a little about myself, what you can expect and how you can contact me when you want to share an opinion or need help with an issue involving state government.

Although this is my first year as a senator, I previously served four years in the Ohio House of Representatives. During that time I represented Adams, Brown, Clermont and Clinton counties. My wife Emily and I are "empty-nesters." Three of our children are married and we have six grandchildren.

You may remember your former State Senator Doug White. Term limits prevented him from running for another term in the Senate last year. After winning a Republican Primary last March, voters elected me to a four-year term in November.

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Elections are partisan by design. But once the election is over I believe residents want their elected officials to work together. I enjoyed good working relationships with both Republicans and Democrats in the counties I served as a state representative, and I look forward to establishing the same relationships in Lawrence County.

When you call my office in Columbus you won't be asked about your party affiliation.

You will simply be asked what we can do to help. Two capable people assist me, Trisha Hershey, my legislative assistant, has been with me for my entire legislative career. T.C. Wolfe joined our staff in January. He is working full-time while completing his studies at Ohio State.

Most of my professional experience before getting into politics was in the newspaper business where I was a reporter, editor and publisher for a group of community newspapers in suburban Cincinnati. I now devote full-time to my legislative work.

The 14th Senate District includes all of Adams, Brown, Clermont and Scioto counties, and the townships of Washington, Decatur, Elizabeth, Hamilton, Upper and Perry, as well as the municipalities of Coal Grove, Ironton and South Point in Lawrence County.

One of the challenges of representing a multiple-county district is staying in touch with local elected officials, community leaders and residents. I campaigned with the promise to be visible, accessible and responsive to all residents of the district.

I attend community activities to get a better understanding of the communities I serve and make myself accessible for people who want to talk about their concerns. In an effort to keep residents informed, I write a weekly newspaper column about what is going on in Columbus.

Many legislators use the prepared material from the communications staff for their column. With my background in journalism, I write my own column and try to explain some of the key events taking place in Columbus.

For those of you with access to the Internet, e-mail is an effective way to reach me. I am able to access my office e-mail from home, and I try to respond to every e-mail from the district. I also maintain a Web site where I post my weekly column, as well as an archive of previous columns.

I look forward to learning more about Lawrence County and getting to know more of you. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to call if I can be of service.

To contact me,

call 614-466-8082, e-mail me at, or write to me at the Ohio Senate, Room 38, Statehouse, Columbus OH 43215. Please include your home telephone number and address. You can read previous columns on my Web site at

Sen. Tom Niehaus represents the 14th Senate District that includes the western part of Lawrence County.