Thomas Hall Wins the 46th Ohio Representative Seat: Sheriff Jones has no clothes

I don’t think I’ve ever seen a political candidate who deserved election or re-election more than Thomas Hall did in a very tough year where districts were redrawn at the last minute. There was more internal party opposition against an opponent than what he not only survived in an August 2022 primary but excelled. In the end, Thomas Hall beat his rival, Matt King, by almost 12%, although with the addition of Liberty Township to the new 46th district, it looked like the race might tighten up. By the time the smoke cleared, it was an easy win for Thomas Hall despite the opposition. Part of that was that he has had an excellent record during his first term. But the rest of it was that he just worked so hard to win, personally knocking on over 6000 doors and meeting voters face to face. And many members of the Butler County Republican Party, led by Sheriff Jones, threw everything they had at him, including the kitchen sink and all the plumbing, to defeat him. But it didn’t make a dent in Thomas, which didn’t surprise me in the least. I had called the race over eight months ago and given my personal endorsement. And as history shows, when I endorse someone, they tend to win. Not so much for anything I do, but for the quality of people, the candidates tend to be and for knowing the trends in politics. Nobody was going to outwork Thomas Hall, and as I have come to know him, he’s a good, sincere person to his very core. Nobody would beat Thomas Hall as long as he let voters know who he was, which he did, walking neighborhoods for many weeks now, shaking hands and talking to people instead of just sending out mailers, robocalls, and hit pieces on Facebook. Thomas was well funded and did all the usual political stuff, which I mentioned. But in addition to that, his campaign put in many thousands of hours of labor into direct communication with real people cutting out all the traditional media from hijacking the process. And for voters, they have come to realize they are lucky to have someone like Thomas to vote for. 

The sad part of this story, as positive as it has been, was the tragic fall of Sheriff Jones, who made it his personal vendetta to destroy Thomas Hall in every way, shape, and form. For several months now, I have felt sorry for Sheriff Jones. I see what he is going through now in many of the competitive shooting events that I do throughout the year. It’s tough to be the best at something, then suddenly, some young kid who can do it better, faster, and more often than you comes along, and it hurts. I’ve seen that kind of jealousy destroy many people, and many never recover from it. Thomas Hall wasn’t willing to kiss the ring of one of Butler County’s kingmakers in the Republican Party. Jones obviously took it personally and decided to primary Hall for a second term in the Ohio legislature as a Representative. I watched over much of the fall of 2021 as many fellow Republicans were unified and would attend events together in great camaraderie, to suddenly being enemies with one another. That’s about when Sheriff Jones went on WLW radio and went out of his way to embarrass Thomas Hall because the Sheriff didn’t like his voting record. So, he wanted to show himself as the kingmaker in Butler County and put his aggressive efforts behind Matt King to primary out of office Thomas Hall. Suddenly, many of those same Republicans weren’t getting together anymore, and by the spring of 2022, the sides were split. Most Republicans who wanted to maintain a relationship with Sheriff Jones had turned against Thomas, betting that his political career was over because Sheriff Jones had decided it was. 

I’ve known Sheriff Jones for a long time. I have liked him most in the early days of the Tea Party movement, then again during the first Trump term. To his credit, he was one of the first area Republicans to join behind Trump in 2016. But I remind people often that Trump used to be a Democrat. So did Kari Lake, for that matter. Sheriff Jones, to me, has shown himself to be a big government Democrat who dresses as a 50s-style cowboy sheriff. I like the look. But his actions are much more Democrat than conservative. We had a mutual friend in David Kern, so we have tolerated each other the way relatives do at Thanksgiving Dinner. Sometimes we got along, sometimes not so much. I’ve always liked what he brought to the “Republican” brand as an image. But have been embarrassed by him often as a public official. I understand that he’s never done anything but public life. So it’s been a relationship I’ve been willing to take the good with the bad. That holds until I see him start abusing his power as he clearly did with Thomas Hall. Then anything good Sheriff Jones had done all these years suddenly gets tossed out the window as he does the very Democrat thing, abusing his authority to exert power over others. He went way out of his way to make an example out of Thomas Hall, and many other Republicans followed after him. 

In the end, the good guys won. Thomas won due to his great reputation and his very hard work. He didn’t need a party endorsement, even though he should have had it as a good incumbent. Nobody wanted to cross Sheriff Jones and feared what their own political futures might become if they did. So, things got very ugly during the campaign. Nobody would have thought poorly of Thomas Hall if he had caved under pressure. I always thought he was the clear winner, and I would tell him that. I knew if people could get to know Thomas the way I had, that they’d easily vote for him no matter what Sheriff Jones said. I also knew that Sheriff Jones didn’t have the political capital that he thought he had. Outside of some Lakota school board members, some reporters at Fox 19, and some thankful tax increase moms in the neighborhoods around his house in Liberty Township, a lot of people don’t like Sheriff Jones because they have come to know him as a bully. And so long as Jones has stayed in that bubble, he hasn’t had to face the truth about how people really feel about him when his back was turned. I have often thought some of those feelings were unfair. I always thought Sheriff Jones meant well, looking at him through the eyes of someone like the late Liberty Township trustee, David Kern. But after what Jones did to Thomas Hall during this election cycle and other Republicans who dared to support him, I could see why so many people would not like the Sheriff. So, I knew when it came time to vote; people would pick Thomas Hall. And, of course, they did. After all the money that was spent against Hall by the Sheriff Jones-led Matt King challenge, it’s evident that many of those characters were stuck in the past and had not learned the lessons of recent political trends. You couldn’t buy elections anymore with ads in the paper, simple yard signs, or robocalls with the Sheriff talking endorsements. I had many tens of thousands of hits on this site over the last several months from people looking for more information on Thomas. And what they found was the truth, the truth better than paid ads and sheriff endorsements can give. People were able to see Thomas Hall for the excellent person that he was. And that’s why he won and will continue to well into the future. 

Rich Hoffman

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