Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Friday, March 17

Ohio House 42nd: Van Ho (D) Spurred by Family and Courtroom Experiences

Assistant County Prosecutor Adam M. Van Ho (D-Hudson) is running for the Ohio House of Representatives 42nd District seat of veteran legislator Rep. John Widowfield (R-Cuyahoga Falls), now in his third term. The 42nd District is in Summit county and includes the cities of Stow, Hudson, Munroe Falls, Silver Lake, and the majority of Cuyahoga Falls.

Van Ho has both a campaign website and a campaign blog, which he updates frequently to recount campaign appearances and reflect on a variety of issues.

In his initial blog entry, Van Ho wrote a compelling account of the family and professional experiences that have spurred him to seek public office. Van Ho's great-grandfather was an Ohio farmer and his grandfather a union factory worker from Cleveland's Collinwood neighborhood. His father lost his job when Van Ho was eight and the family lived for a number of years in low-income housing. Later Van Ho's mother endured a long and ultimately successful battle with cancer. Van Ho credits these family experiences with teaching him "the importance of high quality, high paying jobs for Ohio's families, and the need of all of our families to have affordable, high quality healthcare." In addition, Van Ho's parents stressed the importance of education (his mother was a teacher and an 18-year Board of Education member), encouraging Van Ho and his siblings to obtain degrees and to pursue impressive careers.

As an Assistant County Prosecutor in Montgomery and Summit Counties, Van Ho has worked to protect abused and neglected children and to hold deadbeat parents accountable. He has handled hundreds of felony cases, including such high profile cases as the 2004 conviction of Denny Ross for the rape and attempted murder of an Akron woman and the 2005 conviction of three men for the Christmas 2004 stabbings of several men in Akron's Vietnamese community. He says that his appellate work, defending convictions obtained in the courtroom, has given him "a unique prospective on Ohio's criminal codes, as I understand the need for criminal laws to be carefully written and well designed to best protect Ohio's families."

These experiences have led Van Ho to challenge the Republican-dominated government of this state:
"Under the failed leadership of Republicans like Bob Taft and John Widowfield, Ohio has failed into a complete state of disrepair -- we have underfunded and underperforming public schools -- instead of exporting steel and rubber, we are now exporting jobs and young people -- many of our families can now no longer afford health care, and many employers are no longer financially able to give their employees healthcare -- our criminal laws are weak and are designed to protect bureaucratic budgets, not Ohio's families -- and Ohio has gained the reputation for being the most corrupt state in the union. . . .

"I'm running for the Ohio House of Representatives for several key reasons: to help clean up the corruption that is ruining our state, and reform the way we conduct elections; to finally address the tough issues surrounding not only school funding, but also examine the way in which we educate Ohio's children -- from preschool through college and beyond; to protect our families by strengthening and updating our criminal code, so that it not only protects our families for more 'traditional' crimes, but also so that our criminal code protects our families from the new crimes associated with the internet and modern technology; and to help build a stronger and modern economy, so that Ohio's families and young people no longer have to move to other states to find well paying jobs and affordable health care."
Van Ho faces Paul L. Colavecchio (D-Cuyahoga Falls) in the Democratic primary. The winner will face a stiff challenge in attempting to unseat Widowfield in the general election next fall. Widowfield defeated his last Democratic opponent, current Cuyahoga Falls City Council Member Diana Colavecchio, by the relatively comfortable margin of 56.89% to 43.11% of the vote. (I don't know how current candidate Colavecchio may be related to former candidate Colavecchio - perhaps a reader will be kind enough to provide that information!)

UPDATE: A reader indicates in a comment that the Paul Colavecchio is Diana Colavecchio's spouse.


At 8:34 PM, Blogger Anthony said...

the colaveccios are husband and wife

At 3:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Van Ho sounds like a perfectly nice man but what an unfortunate name for a candidate.

At 6:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I doubt very much that John Widowfield is losing sleep over the race this year.

At 2:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 9:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is going to be one of the more interesting races this year -- Widowfield is vunerable, and Van Ho is the candidate to take him on.

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Widowfield Faces Criminal Charge
10/22/2008 12:28:09 PM | Larry States

A day before he was to have a hearing before the Ohio Ethics Commission , State Representative John Widowfield of Cuyahoga Falls has seen the Ohio Legislative Inspector General file a criminal charge against him according to the Beacon Journal.

Widowfield has admitted buying Ohio State University football tickets with campaign funds, selling them and then pocketing the profits. Inspector General Tony Bledsoe filed the charge allleging that Widowfield failed to disclose ticket sales profits on his annual financial disclosure statements.

Widowfield will be arraigned next Tuesday morning (9am) in Franklin County Municipal Court in Columbus.

Widowfield resigned his seat in May when the accusations of illegal ticket sales surfaced, and referred himself to the elections commission last week. he had earlier apologized for the ticket incident.

The Beacon Journal reports Widowfield may also face a second charge for converting campaign funds to personal use when he appears before the Ohio Elections Commission Thursday.

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