Local political veterans State Sen. Tom Sawyer and State Rep. Vernon Sykes, both Democrats from Akron, easily won re-election to the Ohio legislature Tuesday.
Other incumbents in the Ohio House also appeared to be holding on to their seats.
Sawyer was winning by roughly 3 to 1 to retain his 28th District seat, with more than 90 percent of the precincts counted in the unofficial tally. Sawyer had been expected to handily turn back challenger Robert Gregory Roush, a Republican from Cuyahoga Falls.
Sawyer, who once represented Akron in Congress, has served in the state Senate since 2007 and was seeking another four-year term. The 28th District covers all of Portage County and moves west into part of Summit County and Akron.
In the heavily Democratic 34th House District, Sykes trounced his opponent, Republican Ronya Jeanette Habash of Akron. He garnered more than 80 percent of the vote, with 100 percent of returns tallied in the unofficial count. Sykes spent a dozen years in the Ohio House in the late 1980s and 1990s, before term limits took hold. He returned in 2007 and was seeking another two-year term to represent the district in the center of Akron.
In the 36th House District, incumbent Anthony DeVitis, R-Green, had a substantial lead over challenger Paul V. Colavecchio, D-Cuyahoga Falls, with 90 percent of the votes tallied. Colavecchio had been ahead earlier Tuesday evening. DeVitis was appointed in December to the 43rd District seat (now the 36th), replacing Todd McKenney, who was named Summit County Probate judge.
DeVitis is a former Green councilman and co-owner of DeVitis & Sons, an Italian specialty food store in Akron, and Colavecchio is a lawyer. He is in practice with his wife, Diana, who is president pro-tem of Cuyahoga Falls City Council.
In the new 38th House race, incumbent Marilyn Slaby, a Republican from Cuyahoga Falls, had a healthy lead, with nearly all of the results tallied in the unofficial count. She was turning away Democrat Michael J. Kaplan, an attorney and former mayor of Peninsula.
The 38th District hugs the western side of Summit and Stark counties. Slaby, a former teacher, was appointed to the seat in April, after her husband, Lynn, stepped down to join the Public Utilities Commission of Ohio.
In the 35th House District, incumbent Zack Milkovich, D-Akron, was leading Republican Kevin G. Mitchell of Barberton by a greater than 2 to 1 vote.
In the 37th House race, freshman State Rep. Kristina Daley Roegner, R-Hudson, had a sizable lead over Democrat challenger Tom Schmida. Roegner appeared to be well on her way to retaining a seat in the northern Summit district.
Schmida is the former mayor of Reminderville. Roegner is a former Hudson council member.
Beacon Journal staff writer Katie Byard can be reached at 330-996-3781 or firstname.lastname@example.org.