By nearly 6,000 votes, North Ridgeville resident and former council representative Gayle Manning defeated Sue Morano, a Democrat, and will gain the District 13 Senate seat. The unofficial tally indicated a 59,220-53,251 victory.

With only four hours’ sleep, Manning spoke this morning about her win and how it transpired.

“I think we had the right message,” Manning, a Republican, said by phone. “I focused on the economy and jobs. If we can get the economy going, it will turn around everything else.”

She credited her many supporters and volunteers for the victory.

“We had a great, great grassroots effort. We went door to door three hours a day, beginning in April,” she said.

As a former teacher with an extensive educational background, Manning spoke a bit about that topic.

“The No. 1 thing is, the unfunded mandates have got to stop,” she emphasized. “You can’t require things like all-day kindergarten and expect (school districts) to be able to fund it. Also, we’ve got the 49 other states we should look at to see what’s working and what’s not working.”

But for now, she said she’s “just savoring the win.” She will travel to Columbus a couple of times a week to fulfill her new duties, she added, but hasn’t worked out one small detail.

“My kids are all wondering who’s going to be home to let the dogs out twice a week,” she said with a laugh.

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