State Rep. Nickie Antonio will keep her seat in the Ohio House of Representatives after she was re-elected to her second term on Tuesday.
Antonio, a Democrat, beat her Republican challenger John Zappala by nearly 18,000 votes in the race for the Ohio House District 13 seat.
At the end of the day, she took 26,436 votes compared to Zappala’s 8,572, according to final but unofficial results from the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections.
After making several stops at polling places on Tuesday afternoon, Antonio made a couple of appearances at Election Day parties in Cuyahoga County to watch the election results roll in.
“I am a humbled and very happy be re-elected and looking forward to another two years of serving the district,” she said late Tuesday night. “The way I campaign is to do my job and put the people of the community first. I feel good that the people in the district have confidence in my leadership and in my service.”
Antonio said the focus of her campaign — as well as her role in Columbus — is to “work for jobs” in Ohio.
“Working for healthy communities is what I will continue to work on,” she said. “Nothing has changed.”
Zappala said he was “disappointed” with the outcome of the election.
“I am going to get up tomorrow and go to work the same as I did today,” he said. “As I've said before, it’s awfully tough to win in this county unless you’re a Democrat.”
Zappala said one of the reasons he ran was to give voters a choice.
“In the limited times we had to debate the issues and the options were clear,” he said. “That was my goal: That people had a choice. We had the opportunity to make our cases.”
“I wish (Antonio) the best,” he said. “I hope she will represent the district will.”