NEWARK — The Ohio Senate announced on Wednesday, the final day of his 28-year term in the Ohio legislature, that state Senator Jay Hottinger, R. – Honored Newark.
When Hottinger ended his state government career, which he began in 1995, he received admiration from Democrats as well as party members. He is a Newark City Council member and remains second in the Ohio Senate as interim president.
Several family and friends were in attendance, including wife Sheri, mother Penny, daughters Savannah and Heather, and month-old granddaughter Gwen. Her daughter Jamie was taking exams at Ohio State University, so she couldn’t attend.
“For the past 28 years, I’ve been doing the best work in the world,” Hottinger said.
“I ran for office 32 years ago because I love people, I care about people, I want to serve people, I want to make a difference.
Hottinger thanked his family and colleagues, gave advice to newcomers and young members of the Ohio Senate, told stories of his early days at the General Assembly, and broke down in tears along the way.
“Our goal every day is to make things better, at least not make things worse,” Hottinger said. Remember your conscience, remember your soul. ”
Hottinger said his next job, which begins in January, will be lobbying for Sunday Creek Horizons, a leading advocacy group for Appalachia, Ohio, based in Athens.
Shagrin Falls Republican State Senator Matt Dolan spoke to the Senate about a friend of his who called himself a “career politician.” Dolan said it’s good that Hottinger has made a career in politics.
“What if he didn’t become a career politician?” Dolan asked. “Who was going to be the voice of the fight for the children of Ohio? The Boys and Girls Club, the Family Caregiver Program, the Big Brother Big Sister Program, and who was going to fight for the lives of unborn babies and many others.”
Dolan said Hottinger was responsible for 1,394 bills during his time in the Ohio Senate. He said only his one other member was close to it. He also recognizes Hottinger’s work in areas such as health benefits, law enforcement, support for local governments, animal protection, taxes, regulations, estate taxes, education, and the workforce.
“It’s important that you became a career politician,” Dolan said. Your fingerprints are all over the law for the last 28 years. ”
Senator Kenny Yuko, leader of the Ohio Senate Democratic caucuses, joined in applauding the retiring senator. Yuko, who served with Hottinger in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate, said he was one of the most hardworking members of the General Assembly.
According to Yuko, the pattern for out-of-town meetings is that all seats are filled on the first day, fewer seats on the second day, and more empty seats on the third day.
“But Sen. Hottinger didn’t miss a single moment to go out there and do the right thing,” Yuko said.
“I know he has the respect of those who served in the Ohio House of Representatives and the Ohio Senate. He is strong, he is caring, he is loving. He cares. We are here and we are doing our best to make things happen.”
Ohio Senate Speaker Matt Huffman said Hottinger has a great sense of humor, giving one example.
While the Ohio Senate was honoring a UPS driver with a national award for 35 years without accidents, Huffman said Hottinger had commented.
“Jay leaned over to me and said, ‘I’m going to go to the parking lot and get back in that guy’s truck.’
Hottinger recalled the beginning of his career, including one congressman’s comment about his youth.
“He said that if you were young enough to have children, you were too young to be a Senator. That was my introduction to the Ohio Senate.”
One legislator who has been in Congress for 34 years told the young Hottinger that he’s still learning something new about state government in his life.
“I thought this guy must be a slow learner,” Hottinger said. “Here we are 28 years later. The reality is that if I were here his 128 years, I would learn something new about state tenants.”
Hottinger has chaired the House Finance Committee and the Senate Insurance Committee. He won his 10th “Treasury’s Watch Dog” award for fiscal conservatism.
Huffman said earlier this year, “Jay Hottinger is Cal Ripken of the Ohio Legislature, who has never lost a seat in the last 27 years and, more importantly, is an attentive and credible leader. , being a mentor to many in the state government.”
Hottinger said he missed two sessions in 28 years and was fully present 27 of the 28 years. Wednesday’s session didn’t finish until Thursday at 5:45 a.m., making his final day two days.
Following the moving tribute, Cheri Hottinger said, “I was thinking about how blessed we are, how hard he worked, and how much he loved his job. .