Ohio State Senate District 2Term Commencing January 1, 2021Term of Office: 4 yearsBase Salary: $60,584Responsibilities: To represent the people of the district and the state of Ohio in dealing with matters not allocated to the federal government.(Winner of this race is shown below.)
BSBA- Bowling Green State University
JD- Toledo University College of Law
*State Senator for Ohio's 2nd Senate District
*Previous member of Ohio House (2016-2019)
*Previous member of BG City Council
*Small Business Owner (Mr. Spots)
Ohio is one of the leading states in the country when it comes to voting accessibility. We allow nearly an entire month of early in-person voting and voters could have requested an absentee ballot for November’s election dating all the way back to January 1. If you are a registered voter in Ohio, you have plenty of time and options to cast your ballot.
However, I’ve taken the lead on fixing an elections problem that became glaring due to the COVID-19 pandemic—requesting an absentee ballot online. I sponsored Senate Bill 191 to modernize the absentee ballot request process. This bipartisan bill would allow Ohioans to request their ballot through a secure, online system instead of the outdated and confusing process in current law.
That work led to me receiving the ‘Legislator of the Year’ award by the bipartisan Ohio Association of Elections Officials.
It's important that the voices of all Ohioans are heard in elections. Gerrymandering defeats that purpose and I vehemently oppose it.
The district I represent is an example of one that is not gerrymandered. It contains some or all of Erie, Fulton, Lucas, Ottawa and Wood Counties and I pride myself on how diverse it is. In fact, Barack Obama won my district in 2008 and 2012 by thousands of votes. Taking into account the differing viewpoints of many tens of thousands of constituents has made me a better legislator and is one of the reasons I won by 18 and 24 points respectively in my elections for the Ohio House in a swing county (Wood) with a diverse electorate.
But I don’t just talk about how I dislike gerrymandering, I act on it. In 2018, when I was a member of the House, I co-sponsored Senate Joint Resolution 5, which was legislation to create a bipartisan process for drawing Ohio’s congressional lines. That was sent to the voters for approval and it passed nearly 75-25.
I'm a parent of three children who attended BG City Schools and I spent a lot of my time volunteering in the classroom. So it’s probably not a surprise when I say that education and school funding is a priority for me as a member of the Ohio Senate. However, the system is not perfect, so I'm always interested in hearing from constituents about ways we can ensure our children are receiving the best education possible.
Since joining the legislature in 2016, funding for schools has continually increased. In fact, I have voted on budgets that have resulted in hundreds of millions of additional money being sent to school districts in the 2nd Senate District and across Ohio.
I serve on the Education Committee and my support for school funding and other education-related issues, like my Senate Bill 134 which would protect students getting on and off school buses, has earned me important endorsements from groups like the largest teacher group in the state, the Ohio Education Association.
Prior to serving as a member of the Ohio Senate, I served on Bowling Green City Council, so I am very aware of the tug-of-war that can happen between the state and local governments. However, what people may not notice is that these disputes are rare.
I am a strong proponent of local control, but as with anything, I believe there are limits. There are times when ease of commerce throughout the state can encourage economic development by creating a business-friendly environment, and creating a strong economy is one of my top priorities.
I always encourage local government officials to contact me with their thoughts, concerns and questions, and I have proven in the past that I am someone who will listen and seriously consider what comes from those conversations.