Republication state Rep. David Burke, a pharmacist, drug store owner, and former councilman, has been tapped to fill a vacancy in the Ohio Senate vacancy.
Burke is a second-term state representative from the southern-most region of the 26th Senate District, which includes Marion, Crawford, Logan, Sandusky, Union and Wyandot counties, and parts of Ottawa and Seneca counties. He will be replacing Sen. Karen Gillmor, who was appointed by Gov. John Kasich to the Ohio Industrial Commission.
Burke, who was recommended to Senate GOP leadership by a screening committee, was selected for the slot from among 6 candidates.
"Ohio faces a lot of challenges, and health care is one of them," Burke told the Toledo Blade
. "The one thing that the General Assembly needs is engaged health-care professionals who can bring their experience to policies they're working on. I can best serve the constituents of my representative district and now the Senate district by assisting with this major component -- Medicaid, state (health insurance) exchanges, and, of course, the Affordable Health Care Act in 2014."
Before entering politics, Burke served as a member of Marysville City Council and opened Dave’s Pharmacy’s in the city’s downtown area, an operation that has been in business for 14 years.
Senate President Tom Niehaus said in a statement that he believes Burke will benefit greatly from his experience on the frontlines of patient care.
"Our priority in the Senate is to create jobs and bring economic prosperity back to Ohio," Niehaus said. “Dave's experience in health care and economic development will be an asset as we continue to reshape our state.”
Burke received a bachelor's degree in pharmacy from Ohio Northern University in Ada, Ohio in 1990 and a master’s in business administration from Capital University in Columbus in 1994.
He has two children with his wife, Donna, a fellow pharmacist.