PAULDING — A Paulding County commissioner here has announced his candidacy for a state representative’s seat.
Roy Klopfenstein, who lives near Haviland, plans to run in the Republican spring primary for the 82nd House District, now held by Craig Riedel of Defiance.
Riedel, a Republican, will complete his third, two-year term at the end of 2022, and plans to run for the U.S. 9th District seat now held by Democrat Marcy Kaptur of Defiance. So, he will not be seeking re-election to the 82nd House seat.
Klopfenstein, 61, is in his third term as one of Paulding County’s three commissioners. He joins Angie King of Mercer County as a second declared Republican candidate for the seat in the spring primary.
“It was never a long-term plan or a goal to be there (in the Ohio House of Representative),” he explained during an interview. “It was just an opportunity that came along. I guess people expressed a desire to have me run. From my point of view it’s never been a goal, just an opportunity to serve.”
He noted in a press release issued about his candidacy that he considers it “a privilege to serve Paulding County” and he “looks forward to taking northwest Ohio’s conservative values to the Statehouse.”
According to biographical information provided by Klopfenstein, he has lived near Haviland all his life and is a third-generation farmer with a cash grain operation and custom harvesting business.
At present, the 82nd House District includes Defiance, Paulding and Van Wert counties as well as the northwest corner of Auglaize County. However, the district’s boundaries figure to change under state redistricting measures.
Under new House and Senate districts approved by the Republican-controlled Ohio General Assembly last year, the 82nd District was to be reconfigured in 2023 to include the southern part of Defiance County along with Paulding, Van Wert and Mercer counties.
But the Ohio Supreme Court — in a 4-3 decision last week — threw out the redistricting maps approved last year. The court ruled that the districts leaned too heavily Republican and will have to be redrawn.
“There’s nothing we can do, it’s just what we have to deal with,” said Klopfenstein about the redistricting situation and uncertainty about the district boundaries. I’ve heard different theories, from they won’t do anything in our district to it will be a completely new map. Regardless of whether it stays the same or is reconfigured, serving the people is not going to change. It’s just a matter of how it gets adjusted.”
The filing deadline for the May 3 primary is 4 p.m. on Feb. 2.
A 1979 Wayne Trace High School graduate, Klopfenstein explained that he has served on a many boards and committees as commissioner. These include the OSU Extension Office Advisory Committee (several officer positions), the Paulding Area Foundation (vice president and president), Heartland Agdeavor Association (director), Blue Creek Township’s zoning board, Ohio Farm Bureau, Ohio Corn and Wheat Growers Association and the Ohio Soybean Association.
Klopfenstein and his wife, Deborah, have been married for 40 years. They have four sons: Andrew, Evan, Gary and Matthew.
He noted that his family has been “active supports of 4-H and FFA,” and is a member of Latty Apostolic Church, believing “God and family is what makes America great.”