Ohio Senate Races: News and Notes
Items of interest in Ohio Senate races:
7th Senate District: Rick Smith (D-Cincinnati) is running a high-energy, innovative campaign against incumbent Robert Schuler (R-Sycamore Township). The estimable Ohio 2nd Blog explains how, including Smith using YouTube.com to post his debate with Schuler online here.
11th Senate District: State Sen. Theresa Fedor (D-Toledo) spoke out strongly last week against the Ohio Supreme Court ruling that the Ohio charters school system is constitutional. Fedor expressed agreement with Justice Alice Resnick's dissenting view that the Court failed to fulfill its responsibility to not only interpret but also apply the Constitution to this experimental form of education. "The Court failed on other fronts as well," Fedor continued. "It didn’t fully consider how the charter school experiment is undercutting our already unconstitutional system of school funding thus adding another step in retreat from DeRolph. The Court also failed Ohioans’ right to control their local schools and failed to recognize Ohioans do not have full transparency of their tax dollars. The court is essentially telling us that it is constitutional to privatize public education tax dollars, and that is simply not acceptable." Fedor called for reforming charter schools by increasing public accountability and transparency and "improving oversight of the currently lax experimental system.” The reforms are needed so charter schools may make a positive contribution to our educational system, presently not the case due to "rampant fraud and abuse in the system and an unacceptable failure rate."
23rd Senate District: The Cleveland Plain Dealer endorsed Sen. Dale Miller (D-Cleveland) last Friday, calling him "a smart, diligent and experienced lawmaker." The editors seemed more impressed with funeral home director and independent candidate Jim Craciun (I-Cleveland) than Republican challenger Howard Shrimpton (R-Parma), who appears to be running solely on opposition to taxes. They give the nod to Miller "by virtue of his track record and proven abilities." The Cuyahoga County district includes much of Cleveland's West Side, Brooklyn, Brook Park, Lakewood, Linndale, Middleburg Heights, Parma and Parma Heights.
31st Senate District: In a race that I don't get to read much about, the Pickerington Times-Sun (a Suburban News Publications newspaper) has endorsed Dennis Lupher (D-Pickerington) over State Rep. Tim Schaffer (R-Lancaster) for the seat of term-limited State Sen. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark). The editors write that they "believe it is a time for new ideas" because of the Republican Party's "failure to adequately address the major issues in Ohio when it has been in the majority." Lupher is an economics professor at Ohio University's Lancaster campus and "retired from the military with more than 33 years of service, active and reserve." They state that he "has a thorough grasp of the statewide education, economic, budget and insurance problems as well as local issues."