Ohio2006 Blog

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Monday, April 17

Ohio House 21st: Herendeen Ackerman (D) against Hernandez (D) in Primary

In the Democratic primary for the 21st District seat of retiring State Rep. Linda Reidelbach (R-Columbus), it's a choice between first-time candidates Jean Herendeen Ackerman (D-Powell) and Dean C. Hernandez (D-Westerville). The winner will face another political novice, insurance executive and township trustee Kevin Bacon (R-Blendon Township), in the general election.

Herendeen Ackerman is a veteran public school teacher with a bachelor's degree degree in education from Ohio State University and a master's degree in gifted education from Ashland University. She has been endorsed by Democracy for America-Central Ohio, State Senators Teresa Fedor (D-Toledo) and Robert Hagan (D-Youngstown), and the Hamilton Local Schools Ohio Educational Association Local. Education and the economy are the central issues in her campaign, and she has come out strong against charter schools. A recent ThisWeek News article profiling this race quotes Herendeen Ackerman as saying she is seeking election "because one-party rule for the last 12 years has hurt Ohio in many ways." Ohio is "hemorrhaging jobs and young people" and "almost every county in Ohio has higher unemployment than the national rate," she continued, while the focus remains on "divisive social issues":

"The Republicans are making it harder for people to vote and are cynically attacking the very foundation of our public schools by spending $1.2-billion of our tax money on failing and unaccountable charter schools. We must change the priorities and I will work to do just that."
Hernandez (sorry - no usable picture!) is director of investment operations for Meeder Financial in Dublin. He received a bachelor's degree in financial services from Wright State University and is an Army reservist. He has been endorsed by the Stonewall Democrats of Central Ohio, State Rep. Tim Cassell (D-Madison), and the Fund for Children and Public Education of the Ohio Education Association. In the ThisWeek News article, Hernandez said he is seeking election "because I believe that the state government has lost its focus":

"The state needs to be focused on job creation, real solutions for the school funding crisis, help for our citizens and employers facing ever larger health care costs and an environment that deserves to be protected and used as an engine to create jobs in rural areas. These issues are where Ohioans find common ground and will be my focus."
In my view, it's Jean Herendeen Ackerman who shows greater determination and has the more persuasive presentation. I hear that she has been pounding the precincts in a door-to-door campaign, and I like her unequivocal stance on charter schools. Given the prominence of education as an issue, I like that she is a long-time public school teacher.

The Herendeen Ackerman campaign will hold a fundraiser on Tuesday, April 25, from 6:00 to 7:30 pm at Short North Tavern, 674 North High Street in Columbus. I checked the upcoming events link on the Hernandez site, but nothing is listed there.


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