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Monday, April 24

Ohio House 73rd: Goyal (D) Faces Haring (D) in Primary

This recent article in the Mansfield News Journal contains a profile of the Democratic primary in the 73rd District of the Ohio House of Representatives, where engineer and executive Jay Goyal (D-Mansfield) is competing with former teacher Ellen Haring (D-Mansfield) for the right to face Phil Holloway (R-Mansfield) in the general election.

A vice president of Goyal Industries, a manufacturing company founded by his father Prakash Goyal, Goyal says that his "private sector experience in meeting payroll, creating jobs and understanding financial reports" would make him "an effective legislator." He applauds incumbent Hartnett but decries the lack of ethics among other politicians as a problem that "takes time away from dealing with issues such as jobs, education and access to health care." Emphasizing "the need to compete in the global economy and establish the area's niche as a source of well-trained workers, " Goyal approves North Central State College's establishment of a tool and die training center because "education is such a critical component of all of this." He also says "rethinking education is required to make it more of a lifelong learning process." Goyal advocates "alternative ways to fund your schools rather than relying on the property owner," and believes early childhood education is "the most effective way" to close achievement gaps. "Health care for children and seniors" is also a big concern because the state must assure that its "most vulnerable citizens are taken care of in their most fragile years."

Haring is described in the article as a "former teacher who also counts other teachers and principals among her family." Her web site says that she is "a wife, mother, and community advocate with experience as a teacher, a small business professional, and a nonprofit advocate," specifically referring to her work as President of the Malabar Farm Foundation and Vice-President of the Mansfield Art Center. In the article she is quoted as saying that "public education has not been a priority in our government and, consequently, the voters are rebelling." Because relying on property taxes to fund schools is not working, "teachers and students are caught in the middle." Like Goyal, she notes "the importance of early preschool education in helping create a skilled labor force," although "equally important" is "training and retraining the current work force." While she joins Goyal in commending Hartnett's public service, Haring says that "other officials' behavior has upset voters."

This is the first campaign for each Democrat. The 73rd District covers most of Richland County. Incumbent Rep. Bill Hartnett (D-Mansfield) is term-limited. He was unopposed in 2004 and got 63.6% of the vote in 2002.

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