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State Representative - 99th District

Responsibilities: To represent the people of the district and the State of Ohio in dealing with matters not allocated to the federal government.99 to be elected (1 from each district)$67,493 base salary2 year term commencing 1/1/2021

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    Sarah Fowler Arthur

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    Kyle Bruckman (Write-In)

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    Richard Dana

Biographical Information

In what ways would you change our election system in order to be prepared for crises that impair the right to vote?

How would you implement a constitutionally compliant school funding system?

Where do you stand on efforts to protect our water, air, and land? Include how you would address climate change.

How would you work to implement uniform internet access throughout your district for those who work and learn at home?

Where do you stand on gun safety measures?

What will you do to combat gerrymandering and ensure that voter-approved redistricting reforms are implemented?

Where do you stand on women’s reproductive rights and health?

Under what circumstances is it appropriate for the state to restrain or check local government?

Education Fowler Christian Agriculture&Business Academy, homeschool graduate-2007; Teaching English as a Second Language(TESL)Min.Cert-2006
Training & Experience Fowler Enterprises, Inc - Director of Marketing, Executive Office Assistant 2005-2020; Badger Run Berries, LLC - Entrepreneurial Owner/Operator 2018-2020; Piano Teacher (50+students) 2015-2020; Sarah's Eggs Entrepreneurial Owner/Operator 1999-2012; OH State BdEd 2013-20
As a long time voting location manager for Ashtabula County polls, I can say first hand that the challenges of voting during this crisis are unprecedented. I think that it is vital to offer voters the opportunity to vote in person, while still allowing options such as absentee ballots and early voting. It is important that we maintain local control of the elections, allowing each county board of elections to continue to tailor their operations and emergency response plans (including personal protection equipment and sanitation) to their county's needs in cooperation with the local health department. Ohio has one of the most efficient and state-of-the-art voting systems that allows all eligible voters, and only eligible voters, a wide variety of safe and secure options so they can make their voice heard in every election.
Bob Cupp, former Ohio Supreme Court Justice and joint-sponsor of the Patterson-Cupp School Funding Bill (HB 305), testified to the Ohio State Board of Education in 2019 that Ohio's school funding system has undergone several fundamental changes since the Ohio Supreme Court ruled on its constitutionality which means that the ruling is no longer applicable. The ongoing policy discussion revolves around decisions of how local tax monies are raised and spent, balancing state funding with regulatory oversight and accountability measures, and how to ensure that all students have access to quality education. My eight years on the State Board of Education have provided me with an understanding of and appreciation for the complexities of balancing local control with additional state tax dollars. Additionally, the state needs to use accurate assessments that reflect the true academic knowledge of students, make state report cards clear and understandable, and respect parents' education choices.
Having grown up in agriculture, I know firsthand the importance of maintaining our soil and water resources and their unique ecology's. Good stewardship includes respect for our natural resources and the economy that is the engine powering those resources. In our efforts to preserve and restore a healthier air and water supply, we need to consider the personal and commercial freedoms which often contribute to new technologies advancing our knowledge, usage and conservation of these resources. I am pleased to have received the "2020 Friend of Agriculture" designation from the Ohio Farm Bureau (OFBF-AGGPAC) and have been endorsed by the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB-PAC), which have been forward thinking organizations in promoting balance and good stewardship of these important resources.
Infrastructure remains a key function of government and feasibility studies are currently being conducted in Ashtabula County to consider the best approach to upgrading our broadband internet access in the near future. The past six months have accentuated the need of families, students, and small businesses for high-speed internet. There may be state and federal grants available to assist in these upgrades now that their importance to education and business has grown and become more clear.
In my opinion, further restrictions on gun ownership would not help protect public safety, and quite probably do the exact opposite. If attacked, I can not rely on the police arriving instantly to help me, that is why I have a concealed carry permit. I support Constitutional Carry, protection of our due process rights, and the rights of individuals to defend themselves and their loved ones from harm. I oppose red flag laws, state and national gun registries, and increased regulations on responsible gun ownership. I am a member of Buckeye Firearms, Ohioans for Concealed Carry and Ohio Gun Owners, as well as the National Rifle Association (NRA). I have received the endorsement of Buckeye Firearms Association and an Aq rating from the NRA.
The voters have already spoken on what we will do with the passage of a Constitutional Amendment ensuring bipartisan committees and public hearings for oversight and feedback on the redistricting process. Our job is now to ensure this is done properly and to be wary of loopholes and bad actors. Since the federal Census contributes significantly to the redistricting process, our current priority must be to assist in ensuring that an accurate and full count is made. Once redistricting is in progress, I would like to see a focus on contiguous districts with county and community borders being preserved wherever reasonably possible.
Women deserve compassionate care that provides them with complete information on their pregnancy so that they can make informed decisions about their personal health that respect their unborn child's life, health and well being. Every child has a constitutional and moral right to life. Abortion deprives a child of their rights and should not be permissible. This obviously does not extend to the unintentional loss of a child when providing medical treatment with both the mother and unborn child in mind. To make adequate healthcare affordable and accessible to all, we should encourage free market competition in the healthcare industry, decrease bureaucratic involvement by reducing excessive mandates and regulations, and encourage charitable and philanthropic efforts. I am honored to have received the endorsements of the Ohio Right to Life, Ohio Right to Life Action and Ohio Values Voters.
The purpose of government at the local, state, and federal levels is to protect individual rights and ensure equal application of the law. Just as we have three coequal branches in our system of government, the local, state and federal jurisdictions serve as checks and balances on each other to best address the needs of the citizens. My general attitude is "subsidiary," the principle that a central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed at a more local level. The test for that should error on the side of local control, requiring that a task or oversight is shown to be demonstrably better in the hands of that central authority. The state and federal jurisdictions have a role but caution should be exercised to avoid over regulation and excessive unfunded mandates. I have been endorsed by the Ohio Citizens PAC, Ohio Republican Party, Ashtabula Republican Party, and Geauga Republican Party.
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Education Tooling University (Online Vocational) Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, A.C.J.V.S. (Precision Machining) Edgewood Sr. High School
Training & Experience Owner: City Taxi Cab & Transfer Co. Owner: Black Eagle Moving Co. Owner: Eighty-Sixed Engineering, Former Union President: I.L.A. Local 1913 (N.S. Ashtabula Coal Pier) Aerospace Machinist: Component Repair Technologies, Machinist/Fabricator: Fenton Mfg.
In Ohio we have the option of in person voting, and by request, mail-in absentee voting. In March of this year, our in person voting option was taken from us late the night before the primary election by a "non-elected" health official. This was done after a judge denied the request backed by Governor Dewine to postpone the election. The crisis in this event: government overreach, as well as, the violation of the separation of powers as outlined in the Constitution. The Health Department should not have the authority to strip or alter our voting rights, nor should the governor have the authority to disregard the ruling of a judge. I would pass legislation to make sure they never have that authority again. When in the event of an actual crisis during an election, emergency session of legislation should determine the correct path to take.
The Constitution grants the federal Government no authority over education, so the 10th amendment applies, giving that power to the state and to the people. Ohio should nullify the “No Child Left Behind Act”, and all regulations imposed by the Federal Government’s Department of Education. Parents should also have the right to provide for the education of their children in the manner they deem best, including home, private, or religious. Equitable tax relief should also be provided for families whose children do not attend public schools.
It is our responsibility to be prudent, productive and efficient stewards of our natural resources. This requires a proper and continuing dynamic balance between development and conservation, between use and preservation. With that, we must wholeheartedly support realistic efforts to preserve the environment, and reduce pollution. I however dispute the argument of the perceived threat of “man-made” climate change.
I believe uniform internet access can be provided by the private companies who supply that service, without government involvement. However, if the constituents see this as a major concern, I would reach out to the utility companies and coordinate the implementation to the best of my ability without increased expense to the tax payers.
As a licensed Collector of Curious and Relics, I am very pro-gun. The right to bear arms is inherent in the right of self-defense, defense of the family, and defense against tyranny, conferred on the individual and the community by our Creator to safeguard life, liberty, and property, as well as to help preserve the independence of the nation. The right to keep and bear arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution, and it may not be infringed upon or denied. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have them. In such circumstances, the peaceful citizen’s protection against the criminal would be seriously jeopardized. People from a young age should be properly trained on gun safety before ever owning or handling a gun. I do not believe the government should have complete authority on how or when that is done though, nor may they require any special licensing, taxes, or fees that contradict the second Amendment.
I believe Ohio’s procedure for drawing districts is fair, provided the commission members have morals and integrity. However, as an independent, I oppose the “two party system”, and would like to see more political parties recognized on ballots within the state and more independents elected into office. By doing this and breaking down the “two party” stronghold, gerrymandering will become much harder to accomplish and voters will have more of a voice.
Women’s reproductive rights and health should be between themselves, God, their families, and doctors without government involvement. However, I oppose abortion in the means of “convenience”, and all government funding to planned parenthood and abortion clinics.
The closer civil government is to the people, the more responsible, responsive and accountable it is likely to be. Ohio’s “Home Rule Law” recognizes this ideology; therefore, the only time the state should check or restrain local government, is in the events that people’s unalienable rights are being infringed, general law is being broken, or the constitution is being violated by the local government. Being relevant to current events, I must also emphasize that the Governor’s, nor the Health Directors “orders” are law.
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Education Bachelor of Science, with University Honors, The Ohio State University. Juris Doctor, Case Western Reserve University.
Training & Experience Attorney and former acting Judge, local historian, and adjunct Professor at Kent State University at Ashtabula. Board Membership includes Past President of the Legal Aid Society of Cleveland and current Board Chair at UH Geneva and Conneaut Medical Centers.
Twitter @DanaforOhio
Throughout our Nation's History, no one was ever "given" the right to Vote. It had to be fought for and won. One of my Mentors, Judge Mary Cacioppo, was denied the right to vote when she married and kept her maiden name. Although the Board of Elections knew Judge Cacioppo, they attempted to deny her right based on "procedure," and she had to take the matter to Court to have her voice and her vote heard. That, unfortunately, was not that long ago, and Voter Suppression continues to this day.

Ohio's system for voting by mail, or through absentee ballot, is safe and secure. All registered voters should be mailed an absentee ballot request, and granted the right to vote on either election day or via absentee ballot. Fees for mailing should be waived by the government by those exercising their right to Vote. If someone tries to "game" the system, and vote on multiple occasions, they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
I am seeking the 99th Ohio House District seat currently held by Dr. John Patterson. For the past 7+ years, John has attempted to fix the State's school funding system. I support the bi-partisan effort in the Cupp-Patterson Bill, H.B. 305, that seeks to fund schools based on resources that includes, but is not limited to local property taxes. The current reliance on property taxes to fund basic services and our schools causes a hardship to our more rural communities, including our Farmers, that is unsustainable and that severely limits the quality of education and services that we can provide our Children and our Communities.
I have seen the enemy, and it is us. We are far too reliant on single use plastics; and this comes from a person who grew up at a time when we were going to embrace recycling and the metric system. What happened? The 99th House District includes communities that are being devastated by climate change. Land that was receding into Lake Erie at a rate of a feet each year, is now vanishing away in large sections - gone forever. Aside from making changes, ourselves, at an individual level, we need the resources of the State, Federal, and International Community to seek real change. Members of our Community have lost their homes, or remain at risk of losing their homes to on-going erosion. Moreover, our local Communities that depend on the lake for tourism are in danger, placing our area at risk for future economic growth.
Both our Schools and Hospitals were devastated in March by COVID-19. At Kent State, we made the transition to Distance Learning within a 72 hour period that students described, in my classes, as nearly a seamless transition. That was much more difficult for our students attending K-12, particularly in our more rural Districts. The same can be said with Healthcare, where tele-medicine became much more common.

The answer to this question is two-fold. First, there has to be access to reliable broadband. Second, that access must come at a reasonable cost. When the pandemic struck, I worked with area providers to provide high-quality Internet to students who qualified for free or reduced lunches at our schools. Access to broadband means nothing if the cost is too prohibitive to purchase. However, the pandemic also showed the large portions of the 99th House District that has no access to broadband. I joined a local "Task Force" to help resolve this lack of broadband.
I am a responsible gun owner, with a carry and conceal license. When I purchase a weapon, I do so from a licensed dealer. After a few minutes, as a background check occurs, I leave the store with my purchase. In my practice of law, I am dismayed when I see someone charged with having a "weapon under disability," the term used when a felon is found with a weapon on their person. Invariably, these criminals have purchased a weapon without a background check, typically at a gun show. This loop-hole needs to end. A background check for an inheritance is another matter, and should not be required for Family heirlooms. In Ohio, we have rules in place describing who is a "dealer" for purposes of selling automobiles vis-a-vis a truly private sale or an inheritance. If we can determine who is a "dealer" for the sale of motor vehicles, I think we can easily determine who is a "dealer" in the sale of firearms that requires a background check.
For the upcoming redistricting, the Citizens of Ohio have clearly spoken about the need to end gerrymandering. Those Constitutional reforms need an opportunity to work. While I am fearful that a few may try to circumvent the will of the people for their own personal political gain, we need to give the new process a chance to work. If it fails, the Citizens need to vote out of office those who continue to defy our Democratic Principles. I have pledged, and will continue to pledge, my support to combat gerrymandering in Ohio.
The United States Supreme Court has attempted to strike a balance between the Right to Life and all of our Rights to Privacy. Roe v. Wade remains the law of the land, and I will follow the law as spelled out by the U.S. Supreme Court, now and in the future. While we all support Life, there are situations that occur with every Family where medical decisions are made by a Family with the input of their faith leaders and medical professionals. The Supreme Court has held that there are certain situations where these decisions must be made without the involvement of government.
The United States Constitution sets the minimal rights that we hold as Citizens of this great Nation. The individual States can expand those Rights not inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution. For instance, recognizing the importance of education in our Society, Ohio's Constitution requires the "thorough and efficient" funding of Public Education by the State of Ohio.

The Citizens of Ohio voted for "Home Rule," permitting certain levels of local government to enact ordinances not inconsistent with the U.S. or the Ohio Constitutions. Often, State and Federal Governments control the "purse strings," causing limitations in the operation of local government. I'm not suggesting that this is a correct use of Federal or State Power, but the "Home Rule" provisions enacted in the 1912 Ohio Constitution have decreased as restrictions are placed on local government. In my opinion, the Supreme Court of Ohio must re-visit the issue on the application of Ohio's Home Rule Provisions.