Senator Jim Hughes is serving his second term in the Ohio Senate, representing the 16th district, which encompasses a portion of Franklin County. He is currently the Chairman of the Senate Standing Committee on Financial Institutions. Senator Hughes is also a member of the Criminal Justice Committee, Finance Committee, Insurance Committee, Civil Justice Committee, Rules and Reference Committee, and the Finance Higher Ed Subcommittee.
Senator Hughes began his career in public service as a bailiff court constable in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas. He later became an assistant prosecutor in the Columbus City Prosecutor's Office and later, an Assistant County Prosecutor for Franklin County. In late 2000, he was selected to serve the remainder of a term in the Ohio House of Representatives and was re-elected to that post four times. In 2008, he was elected to the Ohio Senate, a position he was re-elected to in 2012.
Hughes' service in the Ohio General Assembly has allowed him to put his legal experience to work for the benefit of all Ohioans, helping pass a number of crime initiatives to crack down on offenders and keep families safe. Hughes worked to keep school children safe by sponsoring legislation that requires community and chartered public schools to adopt school safety plans and conduct a safety drill on a yearly basis. During the 129th General Assembly, he was the primary sponsor of Senate Bill 130, which established licensing requirements and standards of care for certain high volume breeders. In addition, he championed Senate Bill 2, known as the Common Sense Initiative, which improved the landscape of jobs by helping to eliminate unnecessary red tape and regulations for small businesses in Ohio.
In addition, Senator Hughes sponsored legislation that increased penalties for identity theft against seniors and disabled individuals and pushed for stronger laws to keep sex predators off the streets and away from children. He’s also been a part of supporting legislation that updates child pornography laws. His leadership on these issues and in other areas allowed him to rise through the ranks to serve as chairman of the Juvenile and Family Law Committee and the Higher Ed Subcommittee. He also served as a member of both the Civil and Commercial Law and the Criminal Justice Committees while being a member of the Ohio House of Representatives.
Since joining the Ohio General Assembly, Senator Hughes has also played a critical role in efforts to revitalize the economy, make higher education more affordable, and to ensure state policies help, and not hinder, the ability of local communities to attract new jobs and economic investment. He was a strong supporter of tax reform, including state income tax cuts for Ohioans and of state investments in high-tech research and development through the Third Frontier Program, which has resulted in millions of dollars for Franklin County as it works to become a leader in high-tech fields like polymers, biotechnology and fuel cells.
Senator Hughes has been recognized by a variety of groups and organizations over the years for his legislative efforts on behalf of Ohioans. He has been named Legislator of the Year by the FOP Capitol City Lodge No. 9, the Ohio Fire Chief’s Association, the Ohio Nurses Association, the Ohio Association of Professional Firefighters and the AMVETS Department of Ohio. In addition, he has received the Ohio Association for Justice Workers Compensation Outstanding Service Award, the Ohio Federation of Teachers’ Friend of Education Award, the Dom Tiberi Service Award from the Agonis Club, the Ohio Commodore Award and the Watchdog of the Treasury Award, among others.
Senator Hughes continues to practice law as an attorney and partner at Isaac Wiles. He earned his Juris Doctorate at Capital University School of Law after completing undergraduate degrees in business administration and transportation and logistics from The Ohio State University.
He and his wife Susan live in Clintonville, and their daughter Kaela attends Wittenberg University. They’re active in many local community organizations, including the Ascension Lutheran Church, where Hughes is a deacon, as well as the Agonis Club, Shamrock Club, Charity Newsies, AladdinShrine Temple, Central Ohio Crime Stoppers, Kids Voting, Dublin Kiwanis and numerous area Chambers of Commerce. Senator Hughes is also a past president of the Clintonville Rotary.