2011-2015 United State House of Representatives: Office of Congressman Jim Jordan, Legislative Assistant
2016-Ohio Republican Party, Field Organizer
2016-Present Big Brothers Big Sisters of West Central Ohio, Community Outreach Director
B.A. Psychology, The Ohio State University
B.A. Political Science, The Ohio State University
M.P.S. Political Management, The George Washington University
Folks in the 84th House District frequently agree that workforce development and the opioid epidemic are the top two issues facing Ohio. We are blessed to have the lowest unemployment rates in the state and thousands of jobs available, but we need workers to fill those positions. The business community has done a great job of developing partnerships with different education entities to help develop a pipeline of students ready to enter the workforce, but more can be done to ensure that we have a sustainable and productive workforce for the future. The opioid epidemic and its effect on families and communities has crushed our potential as a state. It is critical that we empower folks at the local level to address the epidemic in their respective communities. I believe these issues go hand in hand and look forward to tackling them in the legislature.
Ohio has what it takes to be a great destination for college graduates, both from inside and outside the state. We have high-tech and professional opportunities at businesses related to WPAFB, NASA, Honda, Proctor & Gamble, and dozens of other major employers. We just need to keep Ohio competitive with other states by creating a business-friendly environment that encourages growth and reduces barriers to entry. Just as importantly, there is also a need to fill jobs in skilled trades and other fields that do not require a college degree. Area business owners and schools are already working together to educate high school students about available jobs through programs like Hometown Opportunity, whose mission is to connect local companies with local talent.
We're seeing a great economic trend of low unemployment rates and job availability. Every business owner agrees that their challenge is to find workers. This allows for a very competitive market for employers to set wages at a rate that will attract the best workforce. Our current minimum wage is set above the national standard. It is best to allow the free market to determine an appropriate, competitive wage.
Business leaders in the 84th House District have done a great job of developing partnerships with high schools, trade schools, and community colleges to educate students on the opportunities available to them right here at home. Students need to be exposed to a variety of options and not feel limited to pursuing higher education if that is not the best fit. Fostering the connection between businesses and education will help students understand their options and give employers the opportunity to seek fresh talent.
Keeping taxes low and cutting unnecessary spending helps taxpayers. Despite low employment, our state budget keeps increasing. We have to reverse this trend! Just as I helped run one of the lowest-spending offices in Congress with Jim Jordan, I want to find areas to cut spending in Ohio’s budget as well. Ohio does not have a revenue problem, it has a spending problem. I want to ensure that taxpayers keep more of their hard-earned money and that the state invests its resources appropriately.
Medicaid expansion in its current form is financially non-viable for Ohio. Able-bodied Medicaid recipients should be required to work, or train for work, in order to receive benefits. Even with low unemployment rates in our area, there are a lot of unfilled jobs, both entry-level and above. Employers are struggling to find people to fill these open positions. This is in part due to the drug issue, but it is also affected by the generous government benefit packages able-bodied individuals can receive. We should enforce a work requirement from the state-level to all counties, and also find ways to eliminate the barriers that keep people trapped in the system. One example of this would be phasing out benefits as individuals climb the ladder to self-sufficiency, instead of abruptly cutting all benefits once someone reaches a certain income level. I helped draft work requirement legislation for able-bodied individuals at the federal level, and I would fight for the same as your state representative.
After meeting with folks on every side of the issue, from local law enforcement, to recovery agencies, to addicts and their families, I do not believe the state needs to create another government program to combat opiate addiction. Rather, the state should support law enforcement and empower churches, non-profits and agencies at the local level who are already doing a good job. This support must encourage a "tough love" component that is necessary for anyone to break an addiction. It also includes allowing local rehabilitation units the flexibility to determine which methods are most effective for helping addicts recover and return to productive society. This crisis cannot be blamed on one single entity. There is plenty of blame to go around. But the effects of the opioid crisis are far-reaching even in small rural communities like ours, and it’s going to take an all-of-the-above approach from law enforcement, families, the faith community, and recovery agencies to ensure that we are addressing the issue properly.
Reforms to Ohio's public education funding formula are long overdue. Ohio needs a fair and predictable school funding formula that provides a consistent foundation for a quality education. More local control of public schools will allow for greater creativity and flexibility to improve education based on each school district's needs.
State testing has far surpassed its original intent to hold schools accountable. In my conversations with superintendents, teachers, and administrators, everyone agrees that testing cripples creativity in the classroom. We must comprehensively assess schools by considering multiple categories of success and the challenges that are unique to certain school districts. More local control and decision-making authority is needed to improve educational outcomes for all students.
Our kids are our future. My work with Big Brothers Big Sisters has shown me some of the tough challenges that a lot of kids face before even entering the classroom. This is why I strongly believe in the mission and vision of these non-profit organizations that emphasize the importance of one-on-one mentoring to positively influence the life of a child. We should examine how state funding can help with these disparities, but nothing can replace the influence of a parent or other adult who chooses to invest their time and energy in a child's life.
Parents are the best decision-makers when it comes to their child's education. Each child has different educational needs and parents can best determine where their child will thrive. Allowing charter schools and private schools in the education landscape creates competition and choice. It is critical that we hold charter schools and private schools to the same standards as public schools to ensure quality education across the board.
Ohio has some of the best universities in the country that attract students from all over the nation and world. We must continue this trend and hold higher education accountable for tuition costs and program strength. Additionally, we need to keep Ohio competitive with other states by creating a business-friendly environment that encourages growth and reduces barriers to entry.
I believe I have the experience to get things done and the energy to see challenges through. I've worked through some of the toughest legislative issues of our day with Congressman Jordan in Washington, D.C. My background in agriculture and small business have prepared me to fight for smarter, common sense policies in areas like health care, education and welfare reform. I was motivated to run for elected office after seeing the disconnect between so many Washington politicians and the rest of the country-the same disconnect that has frustrated Ohioans. My priority is to represent the voice and values of the 84th House District and to ensure that every voice in the district is heard.
I do not support full legalization of marijuana. The opioid epidemic was partially born from legal prescription drugs and is crushing our potential as a state. We do not need more legal drugs entering the market and opening the door for more drug-related issues in the future.
I am 100% Pro-Life and proud to be endorsed by Ohio Right to Life. I believe that every life has value and every life is worth fighting for. I am against all forms of abortion and will make it my priority to defend every life, including the life of the mother if she is at risk.
I am heartbroken by recent shootings in public schools, and I cannot imagine the pain of the families affected by these tragedies. I think the best answers for school safety will come from the local level. Certainly the federal or state gun bans being discussed will not address the issue. My home school district of Waynesfield-Goshen, for example, has allowed armed staff to improve students' safety. That decision was made locally, and all school districts should have a similar opportunity to make that decision for themselves rather than being forced into a state-mandated plan. Additionally, the local teachers and law enforcement I meet with across our district say that providing mental health resources in the schools is an important factor to identifying and addressing potential problems. Funding for that, along with funding for school resource officers, may be an appropriate role for the state.
I am 100% Pro-Second Amendment and proud to be endorsed by the NRA. I believe it is every American's constitutional right to own a gun for safety and protection.
My top priority as state representative will be to protect our hard-earned tax dollars and use them wisely. I learned this first-hand by helping run one of the lowest-spending congressional offices in the country with Congressman Jim Jordan. I agree that local governments have dealt with tough cuts in recent years, and I think local government entities are most often the most effective and accountable form of government. It is past time for us to examine how we allocate state resources to local governments to make sure it is done in a reliable and predictable way that allows local governments to plan as best they can.
I am the pro-life, pro Second Amendment, fiscal conservative candidate. I was born and raised in the 84th House District, and I have stood shoulder to shoulder with Congressman Jordan to advance conservative legislation in Washington. I have the ability and the experience to get things done and the energy to see challenges through. I've loved getting to know folks on the campaign trail and look forward to hearing more from constituents so that I can best represent you in Columbus.
Chairman - Auglaize County Democratic Central Committee
Secretary - Auglaize County Democratic Executive Committee
I have been employed since the age of 12, and know what it's like to have to work hard for everything in life.
Graduated from Celina HIgh School and with an Associates Degree from the International College of Broadcasting
The two biggest challenges facing Ohio currently is the lack of access to healthcare and lack of good high paying jobs and qualifying employees. These issues are intertwined.
Healthy, educated people make efficient, skilled employees. By investing more in county health departments and hiring more doctors (or using med students from public universities) to run clinics in each county, many Ohioans would have affordable access to doctors without crowding expensive emergency rooms and urgent cares. Using students from public medical universities around the state would not only help with the medical professional shortage in rural communities, it would allow people regular access to the medical professionals, that usually don't get to see a doctor.
Investing in not only higher ed, but also vocational school, Ohio can help fill the skilled worker gap. When students are trained will skills in or right out of high school, evidence shows they will stay committed to their fair wage employers.
Ohio not only has a worker gap, but also a technology gap. By investing in infrastructure, including high speed broad band internet, Ohio can be set up to be a global economic powerhouse of high wage jobs. Although I do agree with the mission of JobsOhio, spending of all public funds should be done in a completely transparent way available for public scrutiny. Any business with full time employees receiving benefits from the state due to lack of fair wages should be ineligible for any tax relief.
Minimum wage has always meant to be a livable wage, meaning no employee working full time should need any public assistance. Currently, a single parent working a minimum wage job must work almost 100 hours a week to not be ineligible for any state benefits. Ohio should be on a path of at least $11-$13 an hour minimum wage by 2024.
To resolve the skills gap concerning qualified candidates for skilled jobs, Ohio needs to focus on making quality education affordable, including adult ed and vocational school. Not all kids are right for or want to attend college, Junior and High schools should not only focus on getting kids ready for college, but also for life after high school with useful skilled trades.
The State of Ohio has been able to balance it's books by redirecting funds meant for local governments and schools, causing many to file bankruptcy, cut services and/or raise local taxes. The State needs to work with local governments to find balance between jurisdictions.
The medicaid expansion in Ohio has been successful in many ways. Thanks to the medicaid expansion, hundreds of thousands of Ohioans were able to get better jobs or opportunities, and eventually graduate from the state healthcare system. With the expansion, Ohio has the lowest amount of uninsured citizens it has ever seen. The legislature needs to look at options to continue making sure people have access to healthcare.
One size fits all solutions are not the answer for all regions of Ohio. First, we need to make sure that local governments and law enforcement agencies have all of the tools they need. Opening up Ohio's rainy day fund and restoring funds to local governments to pre recession austerity measures is the least that we can do. The Legislature and Administration need to work hand in hand. Ohio's medicaid expansion has been detrimental in helping people get the resources they need.
All schools in Ohio need to have the same guidelines and rules to follow. We need to listen to teachers and foster networking between schools to help fill the gap. Ohio's legislature and administration need to respect the ideas and guidelines of Ohio's elected state school board.
Ranking schools on the performance of standardized testing never gives anyone a full picture of what is actually going on. We need to be able to see growth throughout the school year, and steps districts are taking to always improve. The state budget should reflect helping all schools have all necessary tools for students.
I agree that academic preparedness entering kindergarten is extremely important. The legislature needs to prioritize education funding as one of the most pivotal pillars of our economic stability. Teachers should be lauded as the heroes that they are, rather than a burden on the budget. No one wants to go into a job that is underappreciated and always underfunded. We need to return to the idea of education as investment.
All schools in Ohio should be governed by the same rules and guidelines, no matter public, private,or charter. Taxpayer dollars should be used to improve public schools. Parents have the choice of schools for their children, but taxpayer dollars should only be used for public education.
We need to return to the idea of education as investment. Government should encourage fair prices for education, and should take a role in making sure that all students that want an education have access no matter of ability to pay.
My background has taught me that nothing in life is given, and that with hard work and dedication, sometimes things do work out in your favor. I will always choose people over party, and am willing to work across the aisle to make Ohio the best it can be.
I fully support the full legalization of cannabis, and expect it to be regulated in the same manor as the state does with Alcohol. With the billions of dollars in new revenue, Ohio can invest in it's healthcare, education and infrastructure without adding additional burden to citizens.
If anyone was to ask me personally what should they do, I would encourage them to seek all options other than abortion. With that being said, it is not my role, or the role of the government to control body autonomy for individuals. There will be no such thing as banning abortions, but only stopping legal abortions for poor women. We should not use the arm of the government to shame people that sometimes already feel at their lowest. History and evidence shows that the best way to prevent abortions is by investing in education and access to healthcare.
There is not a one size fits all idea for Ohio schools. The Ohio Legislature and Administration should allow school districts to make decisions best for them with the input from teachers and area parents. If schools allow armed personnel on school campuses. without giving exact details, parents have the right to know what the prevention measures are at their child's school.
I, along with the majority of Ohioans and Americans believe that all gun purchases should require a background check, no matter whether the purchase is from a gun shop, gun show, or personal sale. Ohio and all law enforcement agencies should participate in using the national registry.
The state government was able to balance it's book on the backs of local governments and school districts and it is wrong. All funding needs to be restored to local governments to pre recession levels.
I have been a hard worker all of my life, and will use those skills proudly to represent Ohio's 84th. I have been in the full time work force since I have been old enough, and I know the struggle of everyday Ohioans. I am a regular guy, representing the regular, hardworking, everyday Ohioans and because of my strong stance for workers rights, I have been endorsed by the UAW, OEA, and the AFL-CIO.