Editor’s Note: As we approach the March Primary Election, the Gallipolis Daily Tribune will be running articles allowing the candidates in contested races to introduce themselves and tell the voters why they are running for office. Each candidate is asked, in their own words, to respond to two questions — tell us about yourself and why are you running for this office — with a word limit set for each response.
GALLIA COUNTY — Republican voters in Gallia County will be voting on candidates in multiple contested races, including a race which will decide who will represent constituents of the 93rd District in the Ohio House of Representatives.
Following the resignation of State Rep. Ryan Smith who accepted the job as president of the University of Rio Grande and Rio Grande Community College, former Lawrence County Auditor Jason Stephens was selected to serve out Smith’s unexpired term and was appointed in October of last year. Stephens is now running to retain that seat but is facing a primary challenge from Gallia County native Jeff Halley of Crown City.
Submitted information from both candidates is listed below, with candidate profiles appearing in alphabetical order:
Tell us about yourself
My name is Jeff Halley and I am a candidate for the 93rd Ohio House District covering Gallia, and parts of Vinton and Lawrence Counties.
I currently reside in Crown City, Ohio and I am a lifelong resident of Gallia County. I grew up working hard on our family farm in Guyan Township, and that hard work has instilled a work ethic in me that I will continue to lean on if elected. My wife Wendy and I, along with my daughters and their families, still reside in Gallia County.
My family has spent two generations in the education field with my father, my cousin, and myself all serving on the Gallia County Board of Education. I have also served on the Gallia-Vinton ESC Board and coached sports at many levels throughout my career. Because of this service, I know that education is the backbone to the success of our district
Being involved in the community is at the heart of who I am. I have always believed that in order to see change, you have to roll up your sleeves and get involved. For over thirty years I have served Gallia County in the role of Director of the Gallia County Board of Elections and, most recently, as bailiff for the Gallipolis Municipal Court.
Why are you running for this office?
Southeastern Ohio needs strong representation in Columbus. I am not someone who will follow the lead of others when the issue will not benefit our district. I want to use my experience in both education and political leadership to be a voice for the residents of the 93rd district. My ultimate goal is to see economic development occur in our region, and I have the foresight and experience to bring that goal to fruition.
We must look at every aspect of education at the state level and make sure that our local schools are receiving the support they need to give the students of our district, both present and future, the tools to reach their full potential.
I pride myself on being a candidate who is willing to do whatever it takes for the good of the district. From reaching across the aisle to taking on the establishment, I have the skills and experience to keep this district moving in the right direction. I am proud of where I am from, and I want to see the area continue on a path of success. I am a team player—willing to work together with others for the common good, but I am also not afraid to stand up and be a voice for the overlooked or underrepresented. I will not be intimidated and I will work efficiently on the issues challenging our area. By understanding the intricacies of local political systems and government agencies, I will use my knowledge to make a difference in the area we call home.
Tell us about yourself
I have served as State Representative since October 2019, and I have been working hard to represent our area in a way that would make you proud. Before being selected as State Representative, I was elected to three consecutive terms as Lawrence County Commissioner and also three consecutive terms as Lawrence County Auditor. As Commissioner, I focused on economic development, community improvement, and budget management. As County Auditor, I focused on operating the auditor’s office in a professional, efficient, and customer-friendly manner.
As your State Representative, I have been doing my best to use my experience and knowledge of local government and small business to represent you in Columbus. I have introduced a few bills already and co-sponsored a few others. The very first bill that I introduced is a bill to help seniors and disabled veterans battle inflation on their property taxes.
On a personal level, my wife, Juli, and I have been married for 25 years, and we have three sons. We live on a small farm near Getaway, and we are members of the Rome Church of Christ.
On a professional level, I earned my bachelor’s degree in economics and finance at Lipscomb University, and I am also a Certified Financial Planner® Certificant. I also work as an insurance agent in my family’s insurance business, Stephens & Son Insurance Agency.
I am endorsed by the Ohio Republican Party, the Lawrence County Republican Party, Ohio Value Voters, Buckeye Firearms Association, and Ohio Right to Life.
Why are you running for this office?
The reason I decided to run for State Representative is the same reason I decided over 20 years ago to run for office: I care deeply about our area, and I want to help move us forward.
Twenty years ago, when Lawrence County was at a crossroads and needed fresh leadership, I was elected to the first of three terms as County Commissioner at the age of 29. As Commissioner we were successful in building a power plant, a sewer plant, a hospital, an industrial park, and many other projects.
Ten years ago, when we needed experienced leadership in our County Auditor’s office, I was elected to the first of three terms as County Auditor at the age of 39. As County Auditor, we were successful in upgrading the County’s financial software, the Auditor’s website and the office itself.
Last year, again, when we needed a strong, experienced leader to step up to represent all of us in Columbus, I was appointed State Representative. I have already hit the ground running in Columbus as State Representative, working to help people and solve some of our State’s biggest problems. I will continue to work hard as your State Representative to help improve the lives of everyone in our district.
As you can see, my experience over the last 20 years has prepared me to continue to serve as your State Representative. I have an in-depth understanding of what our problems and opportunities are here in Southern Ohio.
I care deeply about our area, and I will do my best to move our area forward. I humbly ask you for your support, and I would appreciate your vote.