“I think this is really fantastic. I don’t think our name is well known in politics,” said Stein’s father, Don, who retired from farming in 2013.
Stein, a 1972 St. Paul High School graduate, will represent the 57th district seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. He is replacing Terry Boose, who couldn’t seek re-election due to term limits. Stein defeated Democrat challenger Tom Dunlap in the November election.
His family attended a ceremonial swearing-in ceremony Wednesday in the Jennings Auditorium at Fisher-Titus Medical Center.
“Nobody in the family can figure that out. We just don’t know,” said Stein’s father, who laughed when he said he has “no idea” why his son wanted to run for office.
Patty Bergman said she’s “all for” her brother being a state representative. She also said she’s pleased to know their father could be at the informal ceremony since his health will keep him from going to the official one Tuesday in Columbus.
About three weeks ago, Stein spent time getting acquainted with his new job. He said the experience was helpful, especially since he was introduced to about 20 other “freshmen” to the statehouse and learned about the Legislative Service Center, a resource for gathering information on proposed bills.
Stein is waiting to hear what his committee assignments are, but he has requested to be on the agriculture committee.
“I will know more in the next week or two,” he said.
Stein grew up on the family farm, which focused on milk and cows. In the early 1970s, his father sold a wheat crop to buy his first camera, a Pentax Spotmatic F.
“It’s a testament to him,” Stein said. “I have that camera on my desk in my office.”
His father said since quality cameras are expensive, he wanted to help his son since he knew he couldn’t afford to buy one on his own.
“He finished one of the rooms in the basement to make a dark room,” the elder Stein added. “He did that when he was in high school.”
Next year, Stein will celebrate 40 years of running Stein Photography in Norwalk. He said his father told him years ago he hoped photography “wasn’t a fad.”
“I guess it wasn’t,” Stein added with a laugh.
Stein has chosen someone to help with photographing Norwalk and St. Paul sports plus events at the Norwalk Park and Rec, but declined to name her.
“Being a new legislator, I want to get the lay of the land,” he said. “I would like to see more local control. … Hopefully what I do (in office) will marry into that.”