State Rep. Diane Grendell, R-Chester Township, won another term of office after beating Democratic challenger Garrett Westhoven, a software engineer, in her re-election bid for Ohio’s 76th House District.
Rep. Grendell, 75, of Chester Township garnered 40,248 votes outpacing Mr. Westhoven, 38, who received 24,844 votes, according to unofficial tallies from the Geauga County Board of Elections.
“I thank God and everyone who helped me and voted for me in my campaign so that I may continue to serve the people,” Rep. Grendell said. “And I thank my family and friends for so much.”
Mr. Westhoven expressed disappointment with the results, but said this is a new high water mark for future Democratic candidates for the district. “That new mark is set despite the fact that I am a relative political newcomer and took this pandemic seriously and was not able to campaign as I had originally envisioned,” Mr. Westhoven said. “Hopefully with our new anti-gerrymandering law on the books this district, along with many others will be more competitive in the future, and our representatives will be more representative of the people of Ohio.”
Rep. Grendell currently is serving her fifth term in the Ohio House of representatives when she was appointed in May of 2019 after the seat was vacated by Rep. Sarah LaTourette.
The 76th District includes 11 communities in northern Portage County and the townships of Auburn, Bainbridge, Burton, Chester, Middlefield, Munson, Newbury, Parkman and the villages of Burton, Hunting Valley, Middlefield and South Russell in Geauga County and has 53,764 registered voters, according to the Geauga County Board of Elections.
Rep. Grendell brings both public and private sector experience having previously served as a state representative from 1992-2000. Following this service, she was elected to the Ohio Eleventh District Court of Appeals where she served for 18 years and had 203 cases published by the Ohio Supreme Court.
Rep. Grendell was appointed by the chief justice to rule on Ohio Supreme Court cases nine times and received her Juris Doctor Degree from the Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. She was a JAG Officer in the Ohio Military Reserve.
As a registered nurse and attorney with a business and psychology degree, Rep. Grendell said that she has been addressing the COVID-19 pandemic by sponsoring three bills including one calling for an end to the state of emergency declared in March by Gov. Mike DeWine.
Rep. Grendell also worked on passing House Bill 606, the Good Samaritan Expansion bill protecting medical professionals, schools, businesses and their employees from frivolous litigation related to COVID-19.
Rep. Grendell also introduced her “Light of Day” bill in September which she said would get rid of “dark money influence” in Ohio political campaigns.
Previously, Grendell came under fire for receiving large amounts of campaign contributions to her primary campaign against Frank Hall from the House Republican Campaign Committee which was controlled at the time by indicted former House Speaker Larry Householder.
Moving forward, Rep. Grendell said her priorities include working for adequate school funding that does not rely on property taxes and transparent and patient-centered care in the healthcare system.
The new two-year term begins in January with a base salary of $67,493 annually.
Rep. Grendell and her husband, Geauga County Probate and Juvenile Judge Timothy Grendell, live in Chester Township and have two children and three grandchildren.