Lawmaker beats GOP rival who made sexting claim


DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A married Ohio state lawmaker has bested a Republican primary opponent who sought to exploit their exchange of sexual text messages to win his seat.

State Rep. Rick Perales (peh-RAH’-lihs), of Beavercreek, defeated Jocelyn Smith in the GOP contest for the Dayton area’s 73rd House District on Tuesday. He faces Democratic challenger Kim McCarthy, of Xenia, in November.

Perales acknowledged having a brief, consensual relationship in 2015 with Smith. He described it as “flirtatious.”

Smith is a nurse from Fairborn. She shared some of the texts after kicking off her campaign. She demanded Perales resign or face more revelations. He refused and filed an extortion charge against her. The charge is pending.

Then-House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger had been told of the exchanges and urged Smith to contact law enforcement.

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