Having fulfilled four terms as an Ohio State Representative, Bridgeport native Charlie Wilson now is testing the waters as an Ohio State Senator following his successful campaign bid in 2004.
Born Jan. 18, 1943, Wilson was first elected to the State House of Representatives in 1996. He said his proudest moments of serving in the House came when he assisted in obtaining $500,000 for an industrial park in Belmont County, and helping to create nearly 1,000 jobs in Monroe County in a joint effort with Monroe's County Commissioners' Department of Development. Also he sponsored House Bill 103, which helps protect the paid jobs of volunteer firefighters who respond to emergencies.
While in the House, he served as assistant leader as well as Minority Whip.
As senator of the 30th District, which encompasses Columbiana, Belmont, Jefferson, Harrison and Tuscarawas counties, Wilson is the ranking minority member of the Agriculture Committee, as well as the Energy & Public Utilities Committee. Additionally, he serves on the Finance and Financial Institutions Committee and the Health & Human Services Committee. Also he serves on the Joint Committee of Agency Rule Review.
1960 graduate of Dillonvale High School, Wilson received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Ohio University. He attended Cincinnati College of Mortuary Science earning his mortician's license in March 1967. In addition to his service as State Senator of District 30, he also is a small business owner. Since April of 1967, he has been the owner of Wilson Funeral and Furniture Co., Inc. of Bridgeport, Ohio. He has owned the Wilson Realty Co. since July 1979. Prior to going into business for himself, Wilson was a United Auto Worker from July 1961 to January of 1965, working as a welder, painter and assembly line worker.
Vice-chairman of the Belmont National Bank and a member of its executive committee for 30 years, he also has served 25 years as an officer and past president of the Ohio Funeral Directors Association.
One of the most respected funeral directors in Ohio, Wilson has been actively involved with the Ohio Funeral Directors Association throughout his business career, serving on virtually every committeein the organization. His ascent through the OFDA chairs saw him become one of the youngest presidents in the Association's history and he continues to be an active supporter of bills affecting funeral home legislation.
Wilson has been involved in promoting the Lou Holtz/Upper Ohio Valley Hall of Fame from the very beginning, attending virtually every event since 1998. He has also served as an ambassador of the Hall, promoting the vocational scholarship program funded by Coach Holtz. His other affiliations include membership in the Bridgeport Eagles Post 995, the National Rifle Association, Moose Lodge, Italian-American Club, Bridgeport Rotary, the Bridgeport and Tuscarawas County Chambers of Commerce and numerous other civic organizations.
The father of four sons, Robert, Brad, Jason and Jarrett, he also is the grandfather of eight. Among his numerous awards over the years are selection as Legislator of the Year Award in Belmont County.