Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Friday, August 4

Ohio House 19th: Harris (D) Calls for Balance in Legislature

Last Sunday I had a chance to catch up with 19th Ohio House District candidate Marian Harris at the fundraiser for 92nd District candidate Debbie Phillips near Columbus. Her event on July 22 with Paul Hackett and Mayor Mike Coleman was a tremendous success, she said, and I'm sorry that I had to miss it. She is running against entrenched incumbent Rep. Larry Flowers (R-Canal Winchester) because she saw that there was no Democrat in the race, and "this is not a year for any Republican to go unchallenged." She is a first time candidate for public office, although she has been active in politics behind the scenes for 30 years.

Harris' role model as a politician is Howard Dean, whom she admires for his "ability to say what he thinks" and his emphasis on the grassroots. "I wouldn't be doing this" without the experience of volunteering for Dean, she said.

Harris says that education is the top issue on the minds of voters in her district. "Every school district in it has done a levy or has one coming up, and one district is thinking of dividing," she said. The balance of political power is also a big issue, she said, with people being very tired of one-party rule by the Republicans.

Yesterday the Marian Harris campaign emailed me the following press release, addressing the issue of balance in the General Assembly:

We must bring balance back to the Legislature.

A Democrat from Toledo introduced a bill to provide scholarships to war widows. It was tabled. He introduced it as an amendment to another bill. It was tabled. A total of 9 times this bill was introduced and tabled. Then several weeks ago, a Republican introduced the same bill and guess what? It passed. Now I’m delighted for the war widows who will receive this small measure of help, but I am outraged at the process.

I have a list of over 30 bills introduced by Democrats – Representatives elected by citizens of Ohio – that were tabled by my opponent in his role on the House floor. Tabling means there is no discussion, no debate, no sharing of ideas and compromise. Tabling simply means that half the people of this state are not represented in the House of Representatives. Tabling means that Democrats get no credit or recognition for a worthwhile action. Tabling – in this case – leaves the Legislature woefully out of balance.

To balance the Legislature, we must elect enough of each party so that they HAVE to talk with one another, HAVE to find compromise. We’ve had 12 years of one-party rule and it has reached a point where the democratic process is gone. We must have both sides at the table. We must have open dialogue to solve the many problems facing this great state. Education, health care, jobs, the environment – we all care about these issues so why not let all members of the House have input into finding solutions.

We must bring balance back to the Legislature.

Marian Harris
Candidate for the 19th House District
5145 Holbrook Drive
Columbus, OH 43232
Harris said that there have been discussions with former attorney general candidate Subodh Chandra about doing a fundraiser for her, although no date or location has been settled. She also said that people in the mental health community in Columbus are planning a fundraiser for August 17.


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