New Members 2010 - Ohio

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SEN.-ELECT ROB PORTMAN (R-OHIO)

Date of birth: Dec. 19, 1955
Birthplace: Cincinnati
Residence: Terrace Park, Ohio
Occupation: Attorney of counsel, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey
Education: B.A., Dartmouth; J.D., University of Michigan
Previous office held: Director of Office of Management and Budget, U.S. Trade Representative, member of Congress
Family: Wife, Jane; three children

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Rob Portman comes to the Senate with extensive experience in Washington.

He had been an influential member of Congress for 12 years before President George W. Bush named him his U.S. Trade Representative in 2005, and the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) a year later.

Portman’s victory keeps a key Senate seat in Republican hands after Sen. George Voinovich (R) announced he’d be retiring at the end of his term. He beat Democratic Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher in the general election despite frequent trips to the Buckeye State by President Obama and Vice President Biden on behalf of Fisher and Gov. Ted Strickland’s (D) reelection campaign.

Given Portman’s pedigree and relative youth — he’s 54 — he could be a natural fit for the Senate Republican leadership in due time.


REP.-ELECT STEVE CHABOT (R-OHIO-01)

Date of birth: Jan. 22, 1953
Birthplace: Cincinnati
Residence: Cincinnati
Occupation: Elementary school teacher, attorney
Education: B.A., College of William and Mary; J.D., Northern Kentucky University
Previous office held: Congressman, 1994-2008
Family: Wife, Donna; two children

Steve Chabot, 57, returns for his second stint in the House after beating Rep. Steve Driehaus in a rematch of the race Driehaus won in 2008.

First elected in the GOP wave of 1994, Chabot served for 14 years, compiling a mostly conservative voting record. He served as a House manager for the impeachment trial of President Clinton and rose to ranking member on the Small Business Committee.

Before his election to Congress, Chabot sat on the Cincinnati City Council and was a commissioner of Hamilton County, Ohio. In his bid to reclaim his seat, Chabot sought to tie Driehaus to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).


REP.-ELECT BILL JOHNSON (R-OHIO-06)

Date of birth: Nov. 10, 1954
Birthplace: Roseboro, N.C.
Residence: Poland, Ohio
Occupation: Business executive
Education: B.S., Troy University; M.A., Georgia Tech
Previous office held: None
Family: Wife, LeeAnn; four children

Despite being outspent early in the race, Bill Johnson surged late in the campaign to beat Rep. Charlie Wilson (D-Ohio) in this relatively conservative rural eastern Ohio district.

Johnson spent 26 years in the Air Force, where he worked as the director of the chief information officer staff at U.S. Special Operations Command, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He went on to found two companies, Johnson-Schley Management Group, an information technology firm, and J2 Business Solutions, a defense-contracting firm.

In 2006, Johnson moved to Ohio to take a job as the chief information officer of Stoneridge Inc., a global manufacturer of electronic components.


REP.-ELECT STEVE STIVERS (R-OHIO-15)

Date of birth: March 24, 1965
Birthplace: Ripley, Ohio
Residence: Columbus, Ohio
Occupation: Former vice president of government relations, Bank One
Education: B.A., M.B.A., Ohio State University
Previous office held: State senator, 2003-2008
Family: Wife, Karen; one child

For Steve Stivers, 2010 was a rematch of the election he almost won two years ago in one of the nation’s most competitive swing districts.

The Iraq war veteran and Bronze Star recipient has been called a Republican “golden boy” and the best Republican candidate to have lost in 2008. He got 45.18 percent of the vote to Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy’s (D) 45.94 percent, with a conservative and a libertarian candidate sharing the remainder.

That year, Kilroy got elected thanks to the energized Democratic turnout for Barack Obama, while Stivers suffered from his past as a registered lobbyist for Bank One.

Two years later, Kilroy was the one whose liberal voting record put her at odds with the Columbus-area electorate.

Stivers, a lieutenant colonel in the Ohio National Guard, has etched out centrist Republican positions on a number of issues. He says he favors some measure of financial reform for Wall Street and wants to cut healthcare costs by expanding the use of health-savings accounts, giving people incentives for living healthy lifestyles and reforming medical malpractice laws.


REP.-ELECT JIM RENACCI (R-OHIO-16)

Date of birth: Dec. 3, 1958
Birthplace: Monongahela, Pa.
Residence: Wadsworth, Ohio
Occupation: Small-business owner
Education: B.A., Indiana University of Pennsylvania
Previous office held: Mayor, Wadsworth; president, Wadsworth City Council
Family: Wife, Tina; three children

A local politician and small-business owner, Jim Renacci defeated freshman Rep. John Boccieri (D) to take Ohio’s 16th district seat. After graduating from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Renacci began his career as an accountant before starting a management company that owned and operated nursing homes throughout Ohio. He later launched a financial consulting company and also served as general manager of an Arena Football League team. On the campaign trail, Renacci touted his business experience and tenure heading the Wadsworth City Council and, from 2004 to 2008, serving as mayor of Wadsworth. He attacked Boccieri’s record in the House, and in particular the Democrat’s decision to support the final healthcare bill after initially voting against it. Renacci took heat for his involvement in more than three dozen lawsuits related to his businesses, but he benefited from an overall GOP wave.


REP.-ELECT BOB GIBBS (R-OHIO-18)

Date of birth: June 14, 1954
Birthplace: Peru, Ind.
Residence: Lakeville, Ohio
Occupation: Small-business owner
Education: B.A., Ohio State University Agricultural Technical Institute
Previous office held: State representative
Family: Wife, Jody; three children

Bob Gibbs defeated sophomore Democrat Zack Space to represent Ohio’s 18th district. Gibbs got his start in politics in 2002, when he won a seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. After serving two terms in the House, he went on to win election to Ohio’s state Senate, where he served as chairman of its ways and means committee and as vice chairman of its agriculture committee.

Before serving in the statehouse, Gibbs racked up years of experience as a farm owner. In 1974, after picking up his college degree, Gibbs founded Hidden Hollow Farms, a livestock production farm in Holmes County, Ohio. The farm at first was a swine producer but now grows corn and soybeans. Gibbs has served on the board of trustees of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation since 1985 and was its president for two terms, beginning in 1999.

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