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Ohio lawmaker is retiring from legislature but has her sights on another key position

Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo)
Ohio Senate
Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo)

After 22 years in both the Ohio House and Ohio Senate, Sen. Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) has announced she’ll resign at the end of this month. She calls serving in the Ohio Legislature "the best job she's ever had," second only to being a mom.

Fedor said she knew she was ending her career in the legislature when she was former Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley’s running mate in the Democratic primary for Ohio governor. Fedor said the opportunity has now come up to run for the Ohio State Board of Education in district two.

“This is a really good match for me to focus on what I’m so passionate about and that’s public education — strengthening and modernizing our public education,” Fedor said.

Fedor, a former teacher, said this "brings her back home to her core foundation of helping children get the best education that they can."

As a lawmaker, Fedor either sponsored or supported legislation to prevent cyberbullying, increase literacy and educational attainment, create physical and health education standards in Ohio’s schools, and require background checks for volunteer coaches.

Fedor, a U.S. Army veteran, has also supported or sponsored legislation to help those who have served in the military.

Perhaps Fedor’s most well-known accomplishments are those to prevent human trafficking and help people who have been harmed by it.

In 2009, she passed a bill to commit a commission in the Ohio Attorney General's office to deal with the issue. She now serves as the chairperson of the Legislative and Legal Subcommittee of the Ohio Attorney General’s Human Trafficking Commission.

In 2010, she sponsored legislation that made human trafficking a standalone felony. Then, just two years later, then-Representative Fedor sponsored The Safe Harbor Act, a human trafficking bill that concentrated on helping survivors and allowed those who are convicted of prostitution because of human trafficking to have their convictions expunged.

Fedor has also sponsored legislation meant to increase penalties for those who purchase sex from minors. And she said many of those successful pieces of legislation have passed after working on a bipartisan basis with Republicans who have dominated the Ohio General Assembly throughout her time in office.

"It's the issues that matter, not personalities and not parties," Fedor said.

Fedor has been honored statewide and nationally for her work to stop human trafficking and domestic violence. Her retirement from the Ohio Senate will be effective on Monday, October 31, 2022.

Contact Jo Ingles at jingles@statehousenews.org.