Chris Widener

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For the author and speaker, see Chris Widener (author).
Chris Widener
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 10th district
Assumed office
January 5, 2009
Preceded by Steve Austria
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 84th district
In office
January 3, 2003-December 31, 2008
Preceded by Ron Rhine
Succeeded by Bob Hackett
In office
December 8, 1999-December 31, 2000
Preceded by Joe Haines
Succeeded by Merle G. Kearns
Personal details
Born (1963-08-22) August 22, 1963 (age 51)
Springfield, Ohio
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Sally Widener
Residence Springfield, Ohio
Alma mater University of Cincinnati
Profession Architect
Religion Methodist

Chris Widener is the President Pro Tempore of the Ohio Senate. Widener represents the 10th Senate District, which includes Madison, Clark and Greene counties. Before the Senate, he served three terms in the Ohio House of Representatives. He served as the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee during the 129th General Assembly.


After graduation from the University of Cincinnati, Widener served two terms on the Mad River-Greene Local Board of Education before starting his legislative career. His resume includes a stint as a civil service architect at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, where he also served as the base's first full-time historic preservation officer until 1989.

Widener was appointed to his first term as a member of the Ohio House of Representatives in 1999, however, he lost his primary bid for reelection to Merle G. Kearns, a prominent state Senator who was facing term limits. However, after redistricting occurred in 2002, Widener won a term beginning in 2003.

In the 2004 cycle, Widener again faced a primary challenge against fellow Republican Robert Rogers III. He defeated Rogers by about 10,000 votes.[1] He easily won reelection in 2006.

Ohio Senate[edit]

With incumbent Steve Austria term limited and running for Congress, Widener declared his candidacy for the seat in 2008. In the primary, he faced W. Reed Madden and James Howard, and won about 67% of the electorate.[2] In the general election, Widener faced Clark County Commissioner Roger Tackett.[3] While Democrats initially thought the district as potentially competitive, Widener won by 39,000 votes.[4]

Widener served as Chairman of the Energy & Public Utilities Committee in the 128th General Assembly. In the 129th General Assembly, Senate President Tom Niehaus named Widener as Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee,[5] as well as a member of the Senate Rules and Reference Committee; Government Oversight and Reform Committee; and Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee.[6] He also serves on the State Controlling Board;[7] and the State Council on Educational Opportunity for Military Children.

In 2012, Widener won reelection to a second term, defeating Jeff Robertson with 62% of the vote.[8]

Policies, platforms and initiatives[edit]


With Wright Patterson Air Force Base and the National Museum of the U.S. Air Force in Widener's district, he has introduced a proposal to bring a retired space shuttle to the area after they are taken out of commission. Ohio was ultimately ruled out as a curator Space Shuttle.

Finance and budgetary issues[edit]

As Chairman of the Finance Committee, Widener played a leading role in shaping the biennium budget. Notable issues will include local government, education, and the privatization measure JobsOhio.[9] With Ohio Governor John Kasich introducing a budget that brings expansive cuts to much of the budget, Widener has presided over one of the more difficult budgets in recent Ohio history.

Widener was a key player on the conference committee on the budget, where the budget was finished,[10] and helped to pass the final budget for 2012-2013.[11]


External links[edit]