Two Republicans facing off in Senate primary


XENIA — Two Republicans are facing off to be the party’s candidate to serve the 10th District in the Ohio Senate.

Sugarcreek Township Trustee Carolyn Destefani and former member of the Ohio House of Representatives Kyle Koehler are looking to succeed Sen. Bob Hackett (R-London) who is term-limited. The district covers all of Clark, Clinton, and Greene counties.

Destefani, in her third term as a township trustee, considers herself a “proactive leader” who has worked with federal, state, county, and township leaders to achieve positive results for many projects in the area. As a military veteran who served in the Gulf War, her military experience has provided insight into the lives and needs of service men and women, she said.

She has worked with county commissioners to bring $25K in ARPA funds toward a local Veterans Memorial Park to honor military branches. The former Air Force captain sits on Congressman Mike Turner’s Military Academy Review Board and was inducted into the Ohio Veterans Hall of Fame in 2023. Destefani currently serves as the director of Federal Programs at Flairsoft Federal, a military contractor.

“While I greatly respect our state leaders, I bring a perspective that isn’t based on the inner workings of state government but on the inner workings of local government that impact peoples’ lives,” she said.

Destefani is also an advocate for educational improvements in Ohio. She would like to focus on core curriculum academics and STEM/STEAM education “to enhance our ability to compete in the math and science arenas.”

“As a mother and grandmother, I understand the lasting consequences of the legislation Ohio enacts and its impact on future generations,” said Destefani, 57. “What we do today will affect future generations tomorrow.”

Earlier this month, the Ohio Township Association recognized her as one of 13 trustees in Ohio who achieved their Leadership Academy’s highest level.

“Our trustee team has been fiscally conservative while focusing on essential services for our citizens, putting our township in its best fiscal condition in over 20 years,” Destefani said.

Koehler, 61, a Springfield resident, was a four-term member of the Ohio House of Representatives beginning in 2015 and could not run again due to term limits.

One of his goals, would be to move people off public assistance by requiring work, training, or education for able-bodied adults with no dependents. Another goal of Koehler’s is moving towards reducing Ohio’s personal income tax to zero by limiting spending increases over the next several years. He also has educational goals if elected.

“Improving education by working to get parents involved and realizing that they are ultimately responsible for their children’s success at school, whether that is public, charter, private, or home education,” said Koehler, who has authorized and later helped pass into law many bills while in the General Assembly.

He currently works at his family’s business, K.K. Tool Company, Inc. (precision machining manufacturing) in Springfield, where he has served as vice president of design and development for the past 34 years.

“There’s a lot of work to be done in Ohio,” he said. “I’ve served on and chaired the Public Assistance and Benefits Accountability Task Force. I’ve heard from a lot of Job and Family Services directors in the state. There are people abusing the system and a number of individuals who are stuck on public assistance. We’d like to see them off public assistance and instead start contributing to the system.”

Koehler is involved in non-profits such as the crisis pregnancy clinic, Second Harvest Food Bank, Young Life Outreach, and a private adoption agency, Choosing Hope Adoption.

The winner of the primary will face Democrat Dan McGregor, who is running unopposed.

Reach Karen Rase at 937-502-4534.

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