As of 9:57 p.m., Edwards won 58.58% of the vote throughout the district, with only 43.49% of the votes coming from Athens specifically. His opponent, Tanya Conrath, had 13,063 votes by that time.
Prior to the results of the election being finalized, Edwards said he was feeling confident about the outcome of the election and that this would be his biggest win so far.
“I’m very humbled by the voters here in Southeastern Ohio,” he said.
Conrath could not be reached for comment at the time of publication.
Jay Edwards was born in Southeast Ohio, graduating from Nelsonville-York High School in 2007 and afterward attending Ohio University.
Among the many issues that Edwards has focused on over his past three terms, an important one was his focus on protecting the local economy.
According to his website, Edwards said he believes too many people are driving too far for a paycheck, and he hopes to build the local economy. In 2020, he sent a letter to Ohio University after the university laid off and furloughed many of its staff members as a part of a budget-balancing plan.
“I continue to have serious concerns with Ohio University balancing its budget on the backs of staff. I understand sometimes tough choices have to be made, however, when I see Southeast Ohio residents disproportionately impacted while higher-paid employees, mostly from outside of our area and working only a few hours a week, are spared, it raises serious red flags,” Edwards wrote on his Facebook page.
Edwards also recently received the National Association of Mental Illness Legislator of the Year award.
“I successfully fought for MILLIONS of dollars to be spent on youth crises centers and places like the Adam-Amanda Rehabilitation Center in Athens,” Edwards said in a Facebook post.