Monday, December 11th, 2006
Faber is chosen for state Senate
By Timothy Cox
State Rep. Keith Faber is looking forward to his leap to the state Senate early next year, when he will be sworn in to fill the unexpired term of Jim Jordan, who recently won election to Congress.
Faber, Celina, was recommended last week by a committee of state Senate Republicans to take Jordan's place in the 12th Senate District. The Senate panel interviewed three other candidates but chose Faber based on his six years of state legislative experience.
"I'm eager to continue serving the people of Ohio as I have for the past six years," Faber told The Daily Standard on Sunday evening.
Faber, 40, an attorney, has served nearly three full terms in the House. He was re-elected Nov. 7 by a wide 65 percent to 35 percent margin over Democrat Betsy Marshall. The fourth House term would have been Faber's last based on Ohio's term limit law. The same law allows him to serve a maximum of 10 years in the Senate - the two years of Jordan's unexpired term and two four-year elected terms.
The full slate of Senate Republicans will make an official vote on Faber's nomination when the group first convenes in 2007, which is tentatively slated for Jan. 5. Faber's approval is expected and he then will be sworn into office. He will serve the remaining two years of Jordan's vacated term while at the same time giving up the two-year House term he recently won.
Faber will represent a broader, more diverse constituency that is nearly three times larger than his current House district, which includes all of Mercer and Preble counties and part of Darke County. The Senate district includes all of Mercer, Allen, Shelby, Preble and Champaign counties and portions of Auglaize and Darke counties.
The 12th Senate District has a population of about 240,000 and includes the cities of Lima, Sidney and Celina. The 77th House District has a population of about 120,000.
"The biggest difference will be getting to know another 240,000 constituents," Faber said. "It's three times the territory to cover. They told me to be ready to be on the go all the time. I'm already on the go all the time, so I don't know exactly what that means."
The Senate seat opened up after Jordan, a state Senator, defeated Lima attorney Rick Siferd in November to win the four-year U.S. House term of Rep. Mike Oxley, who retired and did not seek re-election.
Other candidates interviewed to replace Jordan included Toni Slusser of Celina, Mercer County's former elections director; state Rep. Derrick Seaver of Minster; and former state Rep. Gene Krebs of Camden. Other candidates who had sought the nomination withdrew their names prior to the interview process.
Slusser previously told The Daily Standard she will likely seek the Republican nomination in the May 2008 primary to run for the state Senate seat. She now works as a regional representative for Secretary of State Kenneth Blackwell's office.
Faber said his Statehouse staff likely will be changing with his move to the Senate. One of his two House staffers is moving out of the state and the other likely will remain working on the House side of politics, he said. Faber said he will try to retain Jordan's two Senate staffers, unless they make the move to Washington, D.C., with the new congressman.
Faber will earn $51,674 annually in the Senate seat, the same pay as the House post.