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Smith beats Bailey for 2nd time

Meeting for the second time in the 93rd District statehouse race incumbent Republican Ryan Smith beat Jackson County businessman and Democrat Josh Bailey by more than a 2-to-1 margin.

Unofficial results in the four-county race gave Smith 18,925 votes to Bailey’s 8,082. That is a 70 percent margin compared to the 64.2 percent margin Smith had when he faced Bailey two years ago.

“I am pretty thrilled with the results,” Smith, who learned of the vote while at a victory party for Gov. John Kasich at the Renaissance Hotel in Columbus, said.

A breakdown of the race had Smith winning in all counties, including Bailey’s home base of Jackson. There, Smith took 70 percent of the vote.

Locally the Lawrence County tally was 7,083 to Bailey’s 3,736. In Smith’s home county of Gallia, he won 5,750 votes, or almost 80 percent. A portion of Vinton is part of the 93rd. There, Smith took 66 percent of the vote.

Smith attributed his win to his track record in Columbus.

“I think I am focused on the issues in southeastern Ohio,” he said. “I feel like we are moving down the field. We are on the right track, heading in the right direction.”

Issues in the race ranged from education funding to jobs to getting broadband in rural areas.

First on Smith’s 2015 agenda will be focusing on education.

“I am going to change the school funding model to help our schools,” Smith said. “That will be utmost. And, to create a better business environment.”