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Sen. Hite Lists Poor Health, Inappropriate Contact with a State Employee as Reasons for Resigning

Ohio Senator Cliff Hite (R), District 1
The Ohio Senate

There’s more information out today about why Republican state Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay suddenly resigned his seat, just a month after saying he would run for re-election next year.

Hite says in a statement on Twitter that he was hospitalized recently and has two surgeries coming up, and his failing health was sapping his strength in traveling his district and to the Statehouse.

But Hite also admits to conversations with a state employee in another office that he says were “not appropriate for a married man, father and grandfather.” Beyond hugs he asked for, he says there was no physical contact.

Hite apologizes and says it was his fault and a mistake in judgment, and that the woman and his wife deserve more respect. His wife also signed the statement, saying they’ve had hard times in their relationship but he’s apologized and she’s forgiven him and they’re in counseling.

Hite had been in the Statehouse for a decade -- and in the Senate since 2011 -- after a career as a high school teacher and football coach.

Below is the signed statement.

Credit Cliff Hite via Twitter
Cliff Hite's sites poor behavior and deteriorating healthy as reason for resigning from Senate.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.