XENIA — Rick Perales is one more election win from returning to the Greene County commission.
The state rep. from Beavercreek won the Republican primary for an open seat, according to official results released by the Greene County Board of Elections, and will face Democrat Colin James Morrow in the November general election.
Perales served as a Greene County commissioner from 2005 to 2012 and either he or Morrow will fill the seat left vacant by outgoing Commissioner Bob Glaser.
Perales garnered 12,801 votes, besting Xenia businessman Ron Geyer, who received 6,305, and Beavercreek Township Trustee Debborah Wallace, who earned 2,585 votes.
“I am honored that the county thought enough of me to really give me a mandate in this election. I’ve been working on their behalf in some form or fashion for two decades,” Perales said by phone Wednesday. “I look forward to continuing to work for all areas of Greene County. I applaud my opponents for stepping up and running.”
Before his time on the commission, Perales served as mayor of Beavercreek. He’s currently representing District 73 in his fourth term in the Ohio House of Representatives but will be term-limited at the end of the year. District 73 includes the western part of Greene County and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.
Morrow received 8,110 votes in his uncontested race. He is a Fairborn city councilman and deputy mayor, and serves as an Army reservist and brigade commander.
Perales, a United States Air Force veteran, said now is the time when leadership is really needed.
“My hope and expectation is that the citizens will stand behind me in November and allow me to join the county commission and continue their dedicated work to the citizens of Greene County in what I anticipate to be some very trying times,” he said. “If elected, the challenges the Greene County commission is going to face in 2021 is different than what we thought when I started the primary election, with COVID-19, health and safety, and budget concerns likely going to be our priorities.”
Despite the promise of challenges ahead, Perales said it’s his experience that he’ll lean on to make tough decisions.
“With my experience and my knowledge and contacts at the state level, my expectation is that I can bring unique capabilities to the commission to complement the current county commissioners,” he said. “It’d be good fun to come back.”