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Ohio Senate is an everlasting institution

In late June, the Senate lost a statesman in Senator Bob Schuler. Senator Schuler fought a courageous battle with cancer, but ultimately passed away on June 29.

Bob, who represented Warren County and parts of Hamilton County, was no stranger to the 17th Senate District.

Last August, he participated in the joint House and Senate hearing that we organized to address the DHL issue in Wilmington. He also chaired a hearing of the Senate Energy & Public Utilities Committee during the Coal Festival in Wellston in 2007 to discuss Ohio’s coal industry and its role in our state’s energy future.

Sen. Schuler was a very good man and a good legislator, who perfected the art of disagreeing agreeably. He will be remembered fondly by all those who knew him.

We know as senators that we occupy our seats on the Senate floor for a limited period of time. The Senate is an institution that is bigger than any one person. While Sen. Schuler’s legacy will live on through his legislative record and his impact on the people he represented, the Senate must appoint a replacement to fill his seat.

Sen. Schuler was a Republican, so it was up to the Republican members of the Senate to select his replacement. Earlier this month, Senate President Bill Harris named a seven member screening committee to interview applicants for Sen. Schuler’s seat and make a recommendation to the full 20-member Republican caucus for who would be the best candidate to fill the position.

Anyone who is a qualified Republican voter in the district was invited to apply. I was asked to serve on the screening committee with Sen. Tom Niehaus, Sen. Keith Faber, Sen. Mark Wagoner, Sen. Karen Gillmor and Sen. Chris Widener.

There were four excellent candidates who applied and were interviewed. But, in the end, Representative Shannon Jones from Warren County received the endorsement of the full screening committee and every member of the Republican caucus. She was administered the oath of office on August 11.

Sen. Jones is a hard worker who will strive to do what is best for Ohio. I look forward to working with her in the coming months.

Sen. Schuler’s passing, followed by my participation on the screening committee, was an important reminder how lucky I am to serve this state and the 17th District in the Senate, and I should appreciate and utilize every moment possible in the months I have left in office.

The Senate is an everlasting institution, while our lives on Earth are temporary.

John A. Carey is a member of the Ohio Senate and represents the 17th District. He can be reached at Ohio Senate, Statehouse, Columbus, Ohio 43215 or by phone at (614) 466-8156.