by Arden Lunay
In the midst of the political turmoil that feels like citizens don’t get a say in, November is growing closer. For 2018, that means it is midterm elections. There are many seats up for election, from governor, to smaller, local seats like the Greene County Board of Commissions. No matter the level of the position, each one is important and can have a large impact on the community and nation. It is important for voters to know the intentions of each candidate, and how they plan on achieving their goals. Quotes are from each candidate’s website.
For a seat in the senate, Jim Renacci (R) is up against incumbent senator, Sherrod Brown (D). Brown was originally elected in 2006 and supports quality, affordable healthcare, small businesses that are creating Ohio jobs, and preserving the environment. Renacci currently represents Ohio’s 16th district in the US House of Representatives. He supports tax cuts, spending reform to decrease debts, and America’s defense system. He has recently taken criticism for taking a strip club owner’s private jet to campaign events across Ohio.
Bellbrook sits in the 10th congressional district, making its candidates for House of Representatives Theresa Gasper (D) and Mike Turner (R). Turner is the current representative, and has a focus on Wright-Patterson Air Force Base and curbing wasteful government spending. Gasper is a first time candidate, who couldn’t “sit on the sidelines any longer.” She “will work to raise wages, lower healthcare costs, and create more local good-paying jobs.”
The current Ohio Attorney General Mike Dewine (R) fights for the seat as governor against Democratic nominee, Richard Cordray. Cordray’s priorities are combating Ohio’s opioid crisis, supporting small business and clean energy, and providing health care for those who need it, including veterans. He is running with Betty Sutton for Lieutenant Governor. Dewine hopes to create more jobs, support schooling–higher education down to early childhood development–and fix the opioid crisis. His running mate for lieutenant governor is Jon Husted.
Zach Space (D) is running against Keith Faber (R) for Auditor of State. Space plans on fighting against gerrymandering and “will shine a light on pay-for-play activities and help fix our broken system to ensure that democracy is working for every Ohioan, not just the rich and powerful.” Faber’s priorities include “government accountability and transparency” and reforming spending in order to make it less wasteful.
Robert Sprague, current seat holder for Ohio House of Representatives for the 83rd district, is the Republican nominee for Treasurer of State. His top priorities are implementing social impact bonds in order to combat Ohio’s drug problem, further transparency in spending, and curb student loan debt by ensuring every student knows their options. The Democratic nominee Rob Richardson’s top three priorities are accountability, innovation, and opportunity. He believes in prison reform, the power of microloans to help small businesses, and refinancing options for student loans.
Attorney General, the lawyer for the state of Ohio, is another office on the ballot this year. Steve Dettelbach (D) is running against Dave Yost (R). Dettelbach plans on improving Ohio’s criminal justice system, fighting human trafficking in Ohio, supporting law enforcement, and redistricting reform. He has been under scrutiny for having connections to a pharmaceutical company that could prevent him from suing if elected. Yost plans on cracking down on fraud and monopolies, saving tax dollars, and riding charter schools for conflicts of interest.
The position for Secretary of State, the state’s record-keeper, is between Frank LaRose (R) and Kathleen Clyde (D). LaRose is a veteran who believes “our rights don’t come from government, they come from our creator.” He is for lowering taxes, lessening business restrictions, and making the voting process fair and accountable. Clyde also intends to reform the voting process, end gerrymandering, and “[foster] a more business-friendly environment in Ohio.”
There are also several local elections for Bellbrook. Kim McCarthy* (D) is running against current seat holder Rick Perales (R) for State House Representative, District 73. Perales priorities include “lowering taxes, cutting state spending and minimizing or deleting regulatory barriers that impede business growth.” He supports veterans, the 2nd amendment, and traditional marriage. McCarthy is running on a more progressive platform and is calling for a return to politics that put people first, rather than corporate special interests.
Cyndi Pauwels (D) is running against AJ Williams (R) for Greene County Clerk of Courts. Pauwels hopes to implement a prison system that is focused on rehabilitation and that doesn’t act as debtors’ prison. William is running on the platform of a conservative Republican who will bring “honest leadership and accountability.”
For Greene County Board of Commissioners, Susan Lopez (D) is up against current Greene County Treasurer Dick Gould (R). Lopez’s platform includes representing the people of Greene County, transparency of how the tax dollars are spent, and ensuring they are used to improve the lives of local families. Ms. Lopez currently runs the Bellbrook Family Resource Center. Gould plans on developing shared public services for the county, promoting financial planning, and lowering real estate taxes.
*Full disclosure: Candidate McCarthy is the mother of the author of this article.