BPW and farm bureau host Meet the Candidates Night

| October 26, 2018

COSHOCTON – The Coshocton Business and Professional Women and the Coshocton County Farm Bureau sponsored the 19th annual Meet the Candidates Night on Thursday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. at the Coshocton County Career Center. Representatives of federal candidates and state candidates took the stage to speak on behalf of their candidate and ask for voter’s support on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Running for the US Senate is Sherrod Brown (D) and Jim Renacci (R). Although the two were unable to make it to the candidate forum, representatives from each candidate were present to speak on their behalf.

“Sherrod is a hard worker and understands the dignity of work and will continue to support pensions and other issues,” said Joann Linbaugh who spoke on Brown’s behalf.

“He believes Ohio deserves a leader in the senate seat because he believes it needs a person who works for both Republicans and Democrats actively,” said Travis Brock speaking on Renacci’s behalf.

In the US 7th Congressional District, incumbent Bob Gibbs (R) is being challenged by Democrat Ken Harbaugh.

“The difference in this election is that of record and rhetoric,” said Tim Ross, who spoke on behalf of Gibbs. “Gibbs stands for Ohio conservative values.”

Harbaugh was at the candidates’ forum to speak on his campaign. He talked about fighting to eliminate pre-existing conditions from medical and health insurance costs.

“It’s rooms like this that restore my faith,” he said. “It’s gatherings of Ohioans that remind me of the truth I learned in the Navy and that is in a moment of crisis, America will always rise to the occasion.”

Issue 1 is a state issue that would make possession of illegal drugs a misdemeanor. Ken Smailes, who emceed the event, read what supporters of Issue 1 are saying such as reduced jail time and less-crowded prisons.

Judge Robert Batchelor, Prosecutor Jason Given, and Sheriff Tim Rogers spoke out in opposition to Issue 1.

“Issue 1 would prohibit jail time until the individual’s third offense,” said Batchelor. “These are folks who are addicted to drugs. More than likely, they’re not going to go to a treatment center on their own. When they have jail time hanging over their heads, they realize they need to get to a rehab center.”

“The war chest for Issue 1 is being funded by California billionaires who are using Ohio as a laboratory for their social experiment to make it a part of the constitution,” said Given. “Drug and addiction counsellors we all work with on a daily basis have all said that Issue 1 is a horrible idea for Ohio.”

“There are better solutions and an amendment is not the right way to do it,” said Rogers.

Batchelor concluded the Issue 1 opposition discussion by saying, “While Issue 1 would get them out of prison, it would fill the morgues.”

Travis Irvine is a member of the Libertarian Party and is running for governor.

“It’s nice to know there are more than two choices on the ballot,” he said. “Only having two options is not good enough for those who pride themselves on freedom. We’re the best of the Red and the best of the Blue.”

Attorney Aletha Carver spoke on behalf of Ohio Supreme Court Judges Mary DeGenaro and Craig Baldwin.

“These are very fine judges, very well-qualified,” said Carver. “They are always prepared for court and always aware of the case.”

Patricia Delaney has been a judge on the 5th District Court of Appeals for 12 years.

“We are on the front lines of issues not only in Coshocton County, but other counties in our 15-county district,” said Delaney.

Both Jay Hottinger (R) and Melinda Miller (D) are running for the 31st district of the Ohio State Senate. Hottinger was present and discussed the Ohio EPA decision to extend the public comment period for 30 days regarding Buckeye Brine’s permit application to convert two of their three Class II injection wells to Class I.

“It’s critically important that the EPA gets this right and citizens have all their questions and concerns answered,” said Hottinger.

Miller was unable to make it to the forum due to a previous engagement, but her husband, Tim was there representing her.

“Mel is running because she wanted to provide a choice for voters,” he said. “Her policies are for working families and an environment where everyone can thrive.”

Incumbent for the 72nd district of the Ohio House of Representatives Larry Householder (R) and his opponent Tyler Shipley (D) were both at the forum.

“I work to try to bring the government back to you and make Coshocton successful once again,” said Householder.

“We need to get money out of politics once and for all and when I realized that our politicians weren’t doing that, I realized that I’d have to do it myself,” said Shipley.

The discussion then moved into local issues. Lt. Jim Crawford spoke about the 9-1-1 levy which is a two-tenths of a mil for five years. It is a renewal levy that would generate $109,000 and be used for contract services and maintain the operation of the technology.

“We are the only safety operating system in Coshocton County,” said Crawford.

Danny Brenneman, director of Coshocton County Job and Family Services, spoke on the children service levy which is a four-tenths of a mil for five years. He said the number of kids in foster care has tripled and they are short of adequate foster care.

Steve Oster, superintendent of Hopewell Schools, talked about the Board of Developmental Disabilities levy. It is a renewal 2.8 mil existing levy for 10 years. The levy accounts for 46 percent of their funding.

“It’s about what somebody wants to do and helping them achieve their goals,” said Oster.

Laura McCloy spoke about the senior services 1 mill renewal and an increase of one-fourth of a mil. The levy accounts for 60 percent of their funding.

“At Coshocton Senior Center, we don’t think the desire to achieve your goals should stop just because you’re over 60,” said McCloy.

Gary Fischer is up for re-election to the Board of County Commissioners. Running against him is Rick Conkle who was unable to attend the forum.

“It’s been my privilege to represent you as a county commissioner,” said Fischer. “My dad always said you’re only as good as the people you surround yourself with. I surround myself with a board of commissioners with zero politics involved in our decisions and I’m proud to say that.”

Christine Sycks, county auditor, is running unopposed and spoke at the candidates’ forum.

“I consider it a blessing to get up every morning and go to a job I love and work with people I love,” she said.

The night ended with local issues discussed including the Coshocton City Schools Operating Levy, City of Coshocton Street Levy, Village of West Lafayette Police Levy, Village of Warsaw Operating Levy, other village and township levy overviews, and overlapping school districts.

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About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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