Ohio2006 Blog

News, analysis, and comments on Ohio elections.

Tuesday, September 19

Ohio House Races: News & Notes

Items of interest in Ohio House of Representatives races:

9th District: The Cleveland Plain Dealer has endorsed former state representative Barbara Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) in her quest to regain her old seat, being vacated by Rep. Claudette Woodard (D-Cleveland Heights). Boyd is opposed by former city councilman and long-time Democrat Rev. Jimmie Hicks Jr (R-Cleveland Heights). The district includes University Heights, Cleveland Heights, East Cleveland, and Cleveland's Ward 9. Since leaving the House due to term limits, Boyd has been working with the Children's Defense Fund. Saying that Boyd is "well-known" to the district from her eight years in the House, the editors praise her as "experienced, diligent and able to work in bipartisan fashion." They note that she will continue her prior focus on "measures that benefit children and seniors" and "efforts to assist the poor in moving from welfare to work." They call Hicks "fairly well informed on Statehouse issues," but note that his "socially divisive record as a city councilman suggests that he would not represent the views of his constituents if sent to Columbus." Hicks adamantly opposed the Cleveland Heights domestic partner registry in 2003, including filing an unsuccessful lawsuit against the city.

14th District: State Rep. Mike Foley (D-Cleveland) has introduced House Bill 660, legislation to require each service plaza along the 241-mile Ohio Turnpike to include at least one pump offering E85, the ethanol-based fuel. The measure has bipartisan support. It is the first bill introduced by Foley, appointed on May 25 after Sen. Dale Miller (D-Cleveland) was elevated to the Ohio Senate. Foley said his goal is to promote use of the environmentally-friendly fuel and make Ohio more energy self-sufficient. His plan would roughly double the number of E85 stations in Ohio by making it available at all 14 Turnpike service plazas by mid-2009. “Ethanol has tremendous potential to reduce Ohio’s dependence on foreign oil while helping the environment,” Foley said. “The more we can make ethanol available to consumers, the more we can do to stimulate demand, help Ohio’s economy and promote energy independence.” Ohio is the nation’s eighth-largest producer of corn, and plans for six new ethanol plants are now on the drawing board. The 14th District is on the west side of Cleveland. Foley is opposed by William J. McGivern (R-Cleveland).

17th District: City council member Roger J. Goudy (D-Solon) is one of at least four targets of Republican attack ads that began airing this week, 50 days before the election. “Bob Taft’s friends in the state legislature are getting desperate,” said House Democratic Leader Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) in a press release yesterday. “They read the polls. They know Ohioans want change after 12 years of failed leadership, lost jobs and corruption.” Goudy is attacked as a political insider who will raise taxes. “Everyone knows Roger Goudy is being attacked by the very same Statehouse insiders who want to see Ken Blackwell elected and who rammed through the largest tax increase in state history,” Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) said. Goudy, who is a career educator and school administrator, is opposed by young city council member and Iraq vet Josh Mandel (R-Lyndhurst), who has a substantial fundraising lead, in this district in the eastern and southeastern Cleveland suburbs now represented by Rep. Jim Trakas (R-Independence).

41st District: Freshman Rep. Brian G. Williams (D-Akron) is another target of the new Republican attack ads, in his case clamoring about the new GOP bugbear, illegal immigration. “These are absurd, hypocritical attacks from people who will do or say anything to hang onto power,” House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) said in her press release. “Everyone knows it’s Republicans like George W. Bush and Mike DeWine who have failed to keep our borders secure – not Brian Williams.” Williams is opposed by former football star Tom Cousineau (R-Akron).

57th District: The new attack ad against assistant city saftety/service director Matt Lundy (D-Elyria) includes unauthorized use of my photograph of the challenger, about which I have objected repeatedly to Rep. Earl Martin (R-Avon Lake) and the Ohio Republican Party. The ad makes the patently absurd claim that Lundy, a former city councilman, voted to increase county taxes. It is not Lundy but Martin who has a record of voting for higher taxes. “Everyone knows Earl Martin followed Bob Taft’s orders and voted for the largest tax increase in state history on his first full day on the job,” said Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus). “That was a $3 billion tax hike, and Earl Martin rubber-stamped it.” The 57th District is in Lorain County.

63rd District: Freshman Rep. Tim J. Cassell (D-Madison) is the fourth target of new Republican attack ads identified in yesterday's press release from the Ohio House Democratic Caucus. “Everyone knows how hard Tim Cassell has been working to help Lake County families recover from the worst natural disaster in decades,” Beatty said. Cassell faces a challenge from accountant Carol-Ann Schindel (R-Painesville).

67th District: On Friday, attorney Jeff Ruppert (D-Franklin) announced his Ohio Competitiveness Initiative, addressing globalization issues described in the book "The World is Flat" by columnist Thomas Friedman. The book "offers both tremendous opportunities and challenges for Ohioans as we seek to define our role" in the global economy, including free trade, out-sourcing, and off-shoring. "We no longer have the convenience of competing solely with the neighbor down the street, or even workers in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley, etc. Blue and white collar workers -- and their children -- must prepare themselves to compete with ambitious, educated workers from Bangalore, India to Beijing, China." Ruppert's initiative looks to put in place "three basic things that attract investment, jobs and wealth in the 21st Century: (1) the infrastructure to connect and engage in the global economy; (2) the education necessary for workers to innovate in the global economy; and (3) a government willing to make the investments necessary to get the best out of the global economy, while limiting its worst side effects." He said that his plan "is designed to obtain these ends by building upon Ohio's existing strengths, and without spending additional taxpayer money. It's all about getting the Statehouse's priorities straight as Ohio moves into its future."

68th District: The Akron Beacon Journal has endorsed two-term veteran Rep. Kathleen Chandler (D-Kent) over businessman Bill Davis (R-Ravenna) in this district in northern and eastern Portage County. The editors laud the former Kent mayor and Portage County Commissioner for her "strong understanding of the state's priorities, especially the need to invest in education" and "well-placed piorities." They note that she has "supported Republican initiatives such as the Third Frontier and phasing out the corporate franchise tax and inventory taxes on business," but has also "pursued her own interests" including advocating "more openness in government." Davis is described as echoing Blackwell's slogans, such as spending 65 cents of every education dollar in the classroom (which would "risk key support services such as computer labs, libraries and counselors") and lacking Chandler's "grasp of the complexities of state government and her embrace of practical approaches to problems."

92nd District: City council member Debbie Phillips (D-Athens) today called on her opponent, Rep. Jimmy Stewart (R-Athens), to return campaign funds received from disgraced Ohio Republican Congressman Bob Ney. “My opponent should say nay to Bob Ney’s contributions, and send the money back,” Phillips said. Ney announced last Friday that he will plead guilty to two counts related to the Republican corruption scandal. He contributed $2,500 to Representative Stewart’s campaign in 2002 and another $1,000 in 2004. “As the culture of corruption continues to spread, Representative Stewart pretends he is independent of the Republican party,” Phillips said. “Follow the money stream from his political contributors and you discover his campaigns are bought and paid for by the Ohio Republican party, Bob Ney and Bob Taft.” According to Phillips, Stewart has received $399,433 in contributions from the Ohio Republican Party in his two prior races and $500 from Bob Taft.

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