Weathersfield trustee Gil Blair gets House seat

Will take over as 63rd District representative for Holmes

WARREN — A Weathersfield trustee who works as a municipal court prosecutor was picked from several Democratic candidates to fill the vacant 63rd District Ohio House seat formerly held by Glenn Holmes.

Gil Blair received news of the decision this week.

“I was notified by the caucus and am awaiting a day for the swearing-in on the House floor,” Blair said Thursday. “There were a number of qualified candidates, and I’m certainly honored I was the one who was selected and certainly look forward to working with everyone.”

The Ohio House Democratic Caucus is expected to make a formal announcement today.

A five-person screening committee that included state Reps. Michael J. O’Brien of Warren and Michele Lepore-Hagan of Youngstown recommended Blair for the seat after interviewing six candidates who applied.

The 37-member minority caucus has approved the recommendation and now the next step is to confirm Blair on the House floor by a vote of Democrats only. The House is adjourned until early June.

Blair’s last day as prosecutor in Warren Municipal Court is today. He informed his fellow trustees Thursday he was leaving.

Others who were interviewed were David Detec of Girard, Tom Harwood of Niles, Barry Profato of Niles, Jack Simon of Liberty and Melissa Wasser, a native of McDonald who lives in Washington, D.C.

A seventh person, Kathy DiCristofaro of Niles, applied, but later withdrew her name.

Holmes, of Girard, was five months into his second two-year term when he resigned May 1 to accept a six-year appointment to the Ohio Parole Board, for which he is paid $87,755 per year. The former mayor of McDonald was elected to the House in 2016.

The new state representative will fill the remainder of Holmes’ term, which expires in December 2020.

The base pay for a state representative is $63,007.

The 63rd District that Holmes represented is all of or parts of these Trumbull County communities: Bazetta, Brookfield, Cortland, Girard, Fowler, Hartford, Vernon, Hubbard City, Hubbard Township, Liberty, Lordstown, McDonald, Newton Falls, Newton Township, Niles, Vienna and Weathersfield.