COLUMBUS – Energized by legislative Republicans’ overreaching partisan priorities, Democrats in every corner of Ohio have filed their candidate petitions today to run for State Representative. In addition to having more than 10 educators, Democrats are fielding numerous female candidates, veterans, local elected officials and several former state lawmakers.
“No Republican incumbent will go unchallenged in 2012 because Ohioans from across the state are fired up and ready to fight back against an overreaching partisan agenda that hurts middle class families,” said House Democratic Caucus Campaign Co-Chair, State Rep. Debbie Phillips. “The strength of our candidates, along with the depth and breadth of their experience creates a recipe for success in 2012.”
Massive state budget cuts to schools throughout Ohio have prompted a significant number of teachers to run for office. More than 10 teachers will be running for state house seats, including Maureen Reedy, the 2002 Ohio Teacher of the Year. Reedy will be running in an open district (HD 24) in Franklin County.
“State budget cuts and the unfair attacks in SB 5 have put educators and our children’s education directly in the crosshairs of the Republican’s anti-middle class agenda and teachers are standing up, fighting back and getting involved,” said Phillips. “We are very excited to have so many great teachers running for office. They are trusted and well known in their communities, which are two key components of electoral success.”
A number of Veterans have also chosen to continue their service by running for State Representative. Among those is Todd LeVeck (HD 16), former active duty member of the United States Navy and current Naval reservist. LeVeck served in the Red Sea during Operation Desert Storm and Operation Deny Flight in the Adriatic Sea. Todd is also a middle school teacher at Willson Middle School.
In addition to teachers and veterans, 5 former state lawmakers are also seeking a return to the Ohio Statehouse. Most notably, Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern will run in (HD 89) to replace State Rep. Dennis Murray, who will not seek reelection in 2012. Former State Reps. Matt Patten (HD 7) and Josh O’Farrell (HD 98) will seek a return to the legislature. Lake County Commissioner Dan Troy is also running in HD 60, and Jack Cera, who served in the legislature from 1983 to 1996 looks to replace State Rep. Lou Gentile (HD 96), who will soon be joining the Ohio Senate.
Other local elected officials include Columbiana County Treasurer Nick Barborak, who will challenge first term incumbent Craig Newbold (HD 5). Portsmouth City Council President John Hass will challenge first term incumbent Terry Johnson (HD 90). Coshocton County Recorder David Dilly will challenge first term incumbent Bill Hayes (HD 72). Council member Luke Scott (HD 93) will be running for the open seat vacated by Rep. Carey.
“The GOP’s partisan agenda is out of touch, which is why their top legislative priority – Senate Bill 5 – was soundly rejected in Republican districts across the state,” House Democratic Caucus Campaign Co-Chair State Rep. Jay Goyal said. “We need to focus on job creation to strengthen Ohio’s middle class- not this divisive, partisan agenda. Ohioans know that they only way to stop this anti-middle class agenda is for Ohioans to take back the People’s House in 2012.”