Tom Patton

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For the Northern Irish politician, see Thomas Patton. For the baseball player, see Tom Patton (baseball).
Thomas Patton
Member of the Ohio House of Representatives
from the 7th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Mike Dovilla
In office
January 3, 2003 – November 18, 2008
Preceded by Erin Sullivan
Succeeded by Matt Patten
Member of the Ohio Senate
from the 24th district
In office
November 18, 2008 – December 31, 2016
Preceded by Robert Spada
Succeeded by Matt Dolan
Personal details
Born (1953-11-03) November 3, 1953 (age 63)
Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.
Political party Republican
Residence Strongsville, Ohio, U.S.
Alma mater Cleveland State University
Profession Legislator
Religion Catholic

Thomas F. Patton (born November 3, 1953) is the state representative for the 7th District of the Ohio House of Representatives. He is a Republican. The district consists of Berea, North Olmsted, North Royalton, Olmsted Falls, Strongsville as well as Olmsted Township in Cuyahoga County.

Patton previously represented the same district from 2003 to 2008, and was a member of the Ohio Senate from 2008 to 2016, serving for a time as that body's Majority Leader.


Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Patton is a member the Knights of Columbus, the Cleveland Police Historical Society, the AFL-CIO and serves as president of the Treasurers and Ticket Sellers Local 756.

With newly drawn district lines following redistricting in 2002, Patton was one of five Republicans who sought to succeed incumbent Erin Sullivan. To take the nomination, Patton received 42.33% of the vote.[1] He went on to defeat Democrat Susan Adams in the general election with 52.4% of the vote.[2] In his first reelection bid, Patton defeated Democrat Bobby Bland with 66.59% of the vote to take a second term.[3] For his third term in House, Patton faced John Celebrezze in 2006. However, he easily defeated his opposition with 58.53% of the electorate.[4]

When incumbent Bob Spada was unable to run for another term in the Ohio Senate in 2008, Patton decided to give up a fourth term in the House to run for the seat. Unopposed in the primary, Patton went on to defeat Democrat Gary Kucinich, brother of Dennis Kucinich, in the general election with 68.39% of the vote.[5] However, in an unusual turn of events, Spada resigned his seat two months prior to the end of his term in order to take an appointment from Governor Ted Strickland. Subsequently, Senate Republicans decided to seat Patton early, in order for the Senate to have adequate representation throughout the important lame duck session. He was seated in the Senate on November 18, 2008. In 2012, Patton ran successfully for a second term, defeating Democrat Jennifer Brady with 59.16% of the vote.[6]

Ohio House of Representatives[edit]

Term-limited in the Senate in 2016, Patton succeeded in convincing Representative Mike Dovilla to run for his Senate seat, allowing for Patton to return to the House.[7] Opposed in the Republican primary, Patton handily defeated Jennifer M. Herold, 79% to 21%. Dovilla would lose the Republican primary for Patton's Senate seat to Matt Dolan.[8]

Patton was unopposed in the general election, winning a seat that on paper is one of the most competitive in the state. He was sworn in for his fourth non-consecutive term in the House on January 3, 2017.[9]

Controversial Comments Regarding Female Opponent[edit]

In an interview on America's Workforce Radio, Patton referred to his opponent, Jennifer Herold, as "gal" and "sweetie". In addition, he questioned her ability to serve due to the fact that she is a mother of young children.[10]

"And I don't know if anybody explained to her we've got to spend three nights a week in Columbus. So, how does that work out for you? I waited until I was 48 and my kids were raised, and at least adults, before we took the opportunity to try."

The comments generated national coverage. Numerous outlets such as Cosmopolitan, Gawker, and The Christian Science Monitor editorialized the story. Nate Beeler of The Columbus Dispatch also covered it, creating a cartoon regarding the comments.[11]


  1. ^ Blackwell, Kenneth 2002 primary election results (2002-05-04)
  2. ^ Blackwell, Kenneth 2002 general election results (2002-11-04)
  3. ^ Blackwell, Kenneth 2004 general election results (2004-11-02)
  4. ^ Blackwell, Kenneth 2006 general election results (2006-11-07)
  5. ^ Brunner, Jennifer 2008 general election results (2008-11-04)
  6. ^ Husted, Jon 2012 general election results (2012-11-06)
  7. ^ "Senate Majority Leader Tom Patton to run for Ohio House". Retrieved 2017-01-16. 
  8. ^ "Tom Patton leading in Republican primary for Ohio House District 7". Retrieved 2017-01-16. 
  9. ^ "Endorsing Matt Dolan for Ohio Senate 24th District: endorsement editorial". Retrieved 2017-01-16. 
  10. ^ "Ohio Sen. Tom Patton suggests opponent shouldn't run because she's a young mother". Retrieved 2016-02-19. 
  11. ^ "Beeler Toon". The Columbus Dispatch. Retrieved 2016-02-19. 

External links[edit]