Former Ohio state senator Scott Nein, a Republican, has died at the age of 72.
The Middletown native served for more than a decade in the Ohio state legislature, where he became known as a friendly and bi-partisan legislator.
Nein sponsored Ohio's "Daly Law," which criminalized injuring or killing unborn children. He called the law's enactment his "proudest moment."
The Daly Law was named after Suzanne Daly, a young Middletown mom who died in a car accident - along with her unborn child - caused by a wrong-way driver in a stolen vehicle. The law included exemptions for abortions.
“It was so important,” Nein said of the bill. “I was pleased and honored to play a small part in it.”
Nein was first elected to the Ohio House in 1990 after a stint on the Middletown Board of Education.
He was appointed in 1995 to fill a vacancy in the state Senate after the resignation of Barry Levey. Nein won election to a full term in 1996 and won re-election in 2000, eventually rising to dean of the Senate in 2004.
After leaving politics in 2004, Nein joined the Independent Insurance Agents Association of Ohio as president and CEO.
The political world of Ohio was shaken by the news of Nein's death, with Governor Mike DeWine (R) calling him a "one-of-kind" public servant.
"He was a tremendous advocate for Butler and Preble counties at the Statehouse where he worked with members of both parties to craft and pass legislation," DeWine said. "Scott never knew a stranger, and enjoyed meeting people and serving his constituents. Fran and I extend our condolences to his wife, Janis, their children, grandchildren, and his many friends.”
State senator George Lang (R) said Nein "set the gold standard for elected officials."
"He was a mentor, trusted advisor, and beloved friend to me and countless others whose lives he touched. He will be deeply missed."
Former Senator Scott Nein was a true public servant who set the gold standard for elected officials. He was a mentor, trusted advisor, and beloved friend to me and countless others whose lives he touched. He will be deeply missed. pic.twitter.com/5QhBB6Xdoi
— State Senator George Lang (@LangForOhio) August 22, 2023
Nein's wife of 48 years, Janis, called her husband "a very fair man" who always “looked for the better answer for the people.”
“We just always clicked,” she said. “I loved him almost my whole life. I will miss his presence. It’s very hard not to have him around.”