O’Farrell To Fill 96th House Seat

WHEELING – A Tuscarawas County attorney will fill the Ohio House seat being vacated by current Ohio Rep. Allan Sayre.

Ohio House Democratic Caucus members interviewed five prospective candidates to represent the 96th Ohio House District on Friday, and they selected Joshua O’Farrell, according to Belmont County Democratic Party Chairman Ed Good.

The Democratic Party chairmen from counties within the 96th District – Belmont, Harrison and Tuscarawas counties – also selected O’Farrell to replace Sayre on the Nov. 2 general election ballot as the Democratic nominee to the seat.

Sayre, D-Dover, announced May 12 that he was stepping down from the post effective Tuesday to become chief deputy auditor with the Tuscarawas County Auditor’s Office. He ran unopposed in the May 4 primary election.

In addition to O’Farrell, those interviewed to succeed him were former Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas; Jim Harrison, a Tuscarawas County business owner and Sugarcreek fire chief; Jim Milleson, a Harrison County insurance agent and realtor; and Harrison County Commissioner Barbara Pincola.

Good said O’Farrell will be present when the Belmont County Democratic Party opens its headquarters June 4 at the former Sheetmetal Workers Union Hall on Fourth Street in Martins Ferry. He couldn’t be reached for comment Saturday.

O’Farrell is the son of Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court Judge Edward O’Farrell. He has not previously held public office.

O’Farrell will next face Republican nominee Allan Landis in the Nov. 2 general election.