Stein, a Norwalk Republican, topped Willard Democrat James Johnson 12,730 to 5,776 in Huron County and 14,962 to 10,429 in Lorain County, according to unofficial results.
Early in the race, Johnson, who serves as Willard council president, announced his priorities were education, jobs and healthcare, which he calls a human issue.
Stein supported local control of schools and limiting the expansion of Medicaid. He supports House Bill 415, which would give local governments more control over road repair.
Stein held a private watch party Tuesday night at his home photography studio, where he had about 50 friends and family members gathered to watch the results pour in.
He said he’s walking away with two essential lessons from his first two-year term in office.
“I’ve learned there’s a lot more gray areas than there are black and white (ones) when it comes to understanding legislation,” he said. “And I’ve found that a lot of people want simple solutions to complex problems. Those are two biggest things I’ve earned through this process.”
Stein said Medicaid expansion is one area that presents a good example of both of those lessons. He said he’s seen both sides of the issue and hopes “to come up with better, more creative ways to fund that,” but added there are many components that are needed for that solution.
Though the term is short — just two years long — Stein said it doesn’t feel insufficient.
“Not really,” he said.
“I have been working on certain pieces of legislation that will not be finished out by this general assembly, but we’ll look at bringing (them) back for the next general assembly. It’s not like after two years it’s all over and it’s gone. There’s legislation that I’ve been working on for a year-and-a-half that we haven’t even been able to introduce yet. So it doesn’t really feel like it’s closing out completely. It’s more of a continuation.”
Stein said he hopes his new term will run even more smoothly than the last.
“Truthfully, with a couple years under my belt, I feel better and I hope I’ll understand it more and maybe be more efficient.”
In the next two years, Stein said there’s plenty he hopes to accomplish, including bringing an estimated $10 to $20 billion industry to Ohio — the research and development of medical isotopes. Stein said the U.S. provides “almost no medical isotope development or research,” but he hopes to change that with Ohio paving the way.
Stein attributes the win to being involved in the community, extensive personal campaigning and “being available” to the general public, something he intends to continue.