What’s on My Ballot on March 17th?

by Josh Hypes

On March 17, Ohio residents were headed to the polls to participate in party primaries and vote on local levies. The vote has been delayed, so there is still time to request your ballot and prepare. This election is different then the last one since the ballot is dependent on the voter’s choice of whether or not they will take part in the primaries. Voters will be given a choice of three different ballots: a Democratic primary, a Republican Primary, or an Independent ballot. This article will break down the key competitions happening on all three ballots. 

Democratic Primary

The first race on the top of the ticket is the Presidential Primary which is a competition between Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders. The Democratic Ballot will still have all the registered names of candidates who have since dropped out of the race such as Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Senator Amy Klobuchar. 

Vice President Biden is running to unite the Moderates of his party against the policies proposed by Mr. Sanders and the progressive liberals. His campaign is aimed primarily on his belief that he has the ability to defeat Donald Trump in a general election due to his name recognition and “positive” appeal. Biden’s policies largely replicate those of former President Obama with his views on things such as defense spending, immigration, climate change, etc. 

Senator Bernie Sanders is running on a progressive democratic socialist agenda which looks to expand current health care coverage with a Medicare for all program, open up immigration, free college for all students attending public schools, and raising taxes on the wealthy in order to expand social programs. Mr. Sander’s foreign policy plans widely differ from his fellow candidates in that he supports the full withdrawal of troops from the Middle East and less involvement overall abroad.

The second federal race on the Democratic ticket is the candidate for Congress which is a competition between Eric Moyer and Desiree Tims.

Eric Moyer, a scientist and an engineer, focuses on expanding the right to health care, increasing the minimum wage, and expanding access to quality education. Mr. Moyer believes that both health care and education are a right and should not be dictated by how much money someone has. Mr. Moyer believes in Mr. Sander’s plan for Medicare for All program as well as his plan to eliminate college debt for all. 

Desiree Tims worked as a congressional aide to Senator Sherrod Brown and Kirsten Gillibrand and as an intern to the White House during the Obama Administration and was formerly a lobbyist for League of Conservation Voters. Ms. Tims’s campaign focuses heavily on gun safety with a plan to advocate for red-flag laws and the implementation of universal background checks. On Health Care, Ms. Tims believes in expanding health care coverage through a public option and lowering the cost of prescription drugs.

Republican Primary

The first race on the Republican ticket is the candidate for Congress which is a competition between the incumbent Mike Turner, John Anderson, and Kathi Flanders.

Mike Turner, the current member of Congress, holds the advantage with his incumbency; Mr. Turner has been in office since 2002 and focused mainly on expanding rights for veterans and working to expand opportunity with Wright Patterson Air Force Base, a major employer in the Dayton area. Turner believes that Social Security and Medicare need to be protected for our aging population. Turner has worked on bipartisan legislation to expand different parts of the energy sector such as green energy but also natural gas and oil.

John Anderson is an anti-establishment candidate has worked at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Mr. Anderson believes that the issues at the federal level are due to expanding bureaucracy, an expanding federal deficit, and career politicians. Due to these problems, Mr. Anderson believes proposing amendments to require a balanced budget and term limits on Representatives on Senate will create a more free legislature that represents the people of the time instead of career politicians. Mr. Anderson has criticized Turner for his inability to accomplish major core tenants of the conservative ideology such as embracing budget reforms and expanding states’ rights.

Kathi Flanders is a Centerville resident with a background in nursing. Flanders desires to address the growing national debt with stricter scrutiny. She believes that there is rampant abuse of social security/Medicare/Medicaid fraud in the system as well as an issue with Congress addressing illegal immigration. Flanders desires to utilize her experience as a local resident to her advantage by saying she knows what the community needs most. 

The Second race is for the nomination of Judge of the 2nd District Court of Appeals between Chris Epley and Jeff Razebek.

Chris Epley is a private practice attorney, an adjunct law professor at the University of Dayton, and appointed Dayton Magistrate. Mr. Epley believes that “all are, by nature free and independent, and have certain inalienable rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and seeking and obtaining happiness and safety” which are enumerated in the Ohio Constitution. Epley believes that the role of a judge is to interpret the law not make the law, corresponding to a strict constructionist view of the Constitution. 

Jeff Razebek is a former judge of Montgomery County Courts of Juvenile Justice and former state representative. Razebek touts his experience both in the creation of law and interpreting the law as a Juvenile Justice set him apart from his opponents. Over Mr. Razebek’s time on the bench, none of his cases heard were ever overturned. 

The third race is for the nomination of a Woman State Central Committee between Christy Lewis Comerford and Laura Rosenberger.

Christy Lewis Comerford is the incumbent representative for the 10th district and has been a member of the Republican Party for 30 years. She states that voters deserve a representative that will keep the county “in the red” and that she has worked hard for her candidates. 

Laura Rosenberger is a Fairborn resident who managed to organize a Trump Rally in the district. Ms. Rosenberger believes that the endorsement in a primary election comes from the people, not the central party. Ms. Rosenberger plans to employ populist strategies and work for the benefit of the candidates if elected as a representative.

The Fourth race is for the nomination for state representative between John Broughton and Brian Lampton.

John Broughton is a member of the Beavercreek City Council seeking the nomination for state representative. Mr. Broughton touts his military and public office experience as what separates him from the rest of his competition. Through this service, he believes he is best in tune with the needs of the community.

Brian Lampton is a Fairborn resident and local business owner of Lampton and Eagle Insurance. Mr. Lampton is running a campaign on major conservative issues such as the right to life and securing 2nd amendment protections. His campaign has already scored key endorsements with the NRA, BFA, and Ohio Right to Life.

The fifth race is for the nomination of Commissioner which is a 3-way contest between Rick Perales, Debborah L. Wallace, and Ron Geyer.

Rick Perales is the current state representative to the Ohio statehouse for the 73rd district. Mr. Perales has had experience as a commissioner serving from 2004 to 2012. Mr. Perales has stated that his campaign will focus on local issues such as giving local constituents a voice and expanding water treatment and sewage infrastructure. 

Deborah Wallace is a Beavercreek Township trustee. Ms. Wallace is running her campaign based on her merits as an outstanding Greene County resident who has been inducted into the Greene County Hall of Fame and her belief that constituents are not being heard. Ms. Wallace claims that businesses and constituents need to play a role in decision making on the local level.

Ron Geyer is a local entrepreneur of Geyer’s Office Supply in Xenia. Mr. Geyer believes that government and county taxes cannot be a burden on the entrepreneur and that high moral and ethical standards should apply to elected politicians.

The 6th Race is for the nomination of County Prosecutor between Alice DeWine and David Hayes. As there is no Democrat filed for the race, the winner of this race will win the election in November by default.

Ms. DeWine, the daughter of Governor DeWine, is a former assistant prosecutor. Ms. DeWine promotes the establishment of a county drug-court to hear specific cases related to that in order to free up the docket for other crimes.

Mr. Hayes is the assistant prosecutor for Greene County. Mr. Hayes is running his campaign on the value of fair competition and states that an election should be an “election, not a coronation.” Mr. Hayes believes he has more experience than his fellow contender and that it increases his electability among the electorate.

The 7th and final Race is for the nomination of Clerk of Courts between incumbent AJ Williams and Beavercreek Township Trustee Christy Ahrens. As there is no Democrat filed for the race, the winner of this race will win the election in November by default.

On All Ballots

Whether someone votes on the Democratic, Republican, or Independent ballots these issues will appear on their ballots.

The first issue is the Bellbrook Sugarcreek Schools District Levy, a deeply contentious issue after the failure of last year’s attempt. Opponents of the levy cite wasteful spending that has to the current predicament where taxpayers are shouldering an excessive tax burden. Opponents believe that the school board should make cuts to miscellaneous costs and teaching staff in order to balance the increasing costs. Proponents for the levy argue that cuts to teaching and other aspects of the school operation would end up being detrimental to the school’s performance. Costs of participation in extracurricular activities for students would greatly increase and staff for those programs would be cut, multiple teaching positions would be removed, and those cuts would still not be enough to cover the costs of the deficit.

The second issue is a renewal on the Bellbrook Parks District Levy which will keep the property taxes on the measure the same and cover operating costs and administration of the community parks.

The third issue is the approval of a .25 sales tax to help cover costs to support Criminal Justice services.

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