Voter Guide

The counties included in the voters guide are: Montgomery, Warren, Miami, Greene, Clark, Champaign, Preble, and Butler.

NOTE: Not all communities have issues or candidates on the ballot.

Ohio House District 52

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    George Lang

  • Candidate picture

    Kathy Wyenandt

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Biographical Information

What are the two biggest challenges facing the state and how would you deal with them?

What would you do to bring jobs to Ohio? Do you support JobsOhio? What changes would you make to it?

21 states have passed minimum wage increases since 2014. What do you think the minimum wage should be in Ohio?

What is your plan for resolving concerns about the skills gap many Ohio business leaders complain about?

Ohio has consistently cut income taxes over more than a decade. Do you support further reductions or increases in the state income tax? Why?

Should Medicaid expansion continue or not? Under what restrictions?

Heroin and opiate addiction have become a major issue in the state. The death tolls are rising and more families are impacted. What ideas do you have to deal with the crisis?

K-12 education in Ohio is all over the place when it comes to success. There are very successful public schools and failing ones. What ideas do you have to improve education in Ohio?

How do you feel about the current system of ranking schools based on test performance? Performance on statewide tests consistently show that districts that serve affluent communities perform better than those with high concentrations of poverty. How do we improve educational outcomes for all students regardless of wealth? And how do we hold districts accountable in a way that doesn’t just measure wealth?

Some argue the best way to close race- and income-based achievement gaps is increased funding for preschool programs. The group Groundwork Ohio argues that a child’s academic preparedness entering kindergarten is one of the greatest predictors of his or her success, yet preschool funding gets 6 percent of what the state spends on higher education. What are your thoughts on this? Do you have other ideas on how to improve kindergarten readiness for children, especially low-income children?

What is your position on school choice? What role do you think charters and private schools should play in the educational landscape?

How does Ohio need to improve higher education and deal with affordability and attracting students?

What makes you more qualified than your opponent(s) to hold this office?

Ohio is establishing its medical marijuana program. Do you support full legalization? If so, under what circumstances? If not, why not?

What is your stance on abortion issues?

Given recent school shootings, what do you think Ohio can do to make schools safer?

Ohio has passed a lot of gun issues in recent years. Do you favor gun rights – stand your ground, CCW, etc? Do you favor gun restrictions – universal background checks, bump stock ban, assault weapons ban, etc?

Schools, cities and counties continue to complain that state funding has been cut, forcing them to cut services and/or raise local taxes. How will you work with local governments?

What else do you want the voters to know about you and your campaign?

Experience I have been a West Chester Township Trustee for 15 years. I have launched numerous businesses mostly in the 52nd District. I am the Grandson of Cuban immigrants and spent my early years in Foster Care. Organizations or Boards I have served on: • Liberty Heights Church (Adult Sunday School Teacher, Passion Play, Chairman of Personnel Committee) • Gideon • Optimists Club • Boy Scouts of America – Regional Leader • West Chester/Liberty Chamber Alliance • Special Olympics • West Chester Board of Zoning Appeals • Metro Parks of Butler County – Advisory Committee • Butler County Sheriff’s – Special Deputy • PTA Treasurer – Hopewell Elementary • West Chester / Liberty Community Foundation Key Event • West Chester Township Police Levy • West Chester Republican Club • West Chester Community Foundation – Founding Family • Co-Founder Of the LIFT Scholarship fund • Bobby Lawhorn Scholarship fund • Hero’s Fund – Acting Board member • Mercy Fairfield Hospital Advisory Board • Campus Crusades for Christ • Community Blood Bank • West Chester Freedom Fighters • West Chester Tea Party • Boys Club/Girls Club of West Chester and Liberty Townships • Butler County Republican Party • SELF Just to name a few.
Education BS in Communications from Southeast Missouri State University.
To make Ohio the most 'Business Friendly" state in America, and to deal with the Opiate crisis.

Let's make Ohio the most "Business Friendly" state in the nation by focusing on four things.

* Workforce development

* Tax simplification

* Regulatory reform

* Reducing the size, cost and complexity of state government.

The opiate crises - we need to do a much better job at treatment programs for the addicted.
The question isn’t just about bringing jobs to Ohio but bringing the right jobs with high wages that can support the lives of our citizens. I’d like to look at commonsense changes to regulation and bureaucracy that will speed up and make the process of placing jobs here faster and cheaper.

JobsOhio has demonstrated gains in marketing the state of Ohio. The board of Jobs Ohio is a “who’s who” of large employers and those knowledgeable about business in Ohio. Many of their practices are sound. As a quasi-private agency, JobsOhio is able to operate as a business and to help promote high wage job creation at the speed of business.

I think we need to look at if the agency is being “held back” and in what ways. Is there sufficient oversight of JobsOhio? Is it funded in a way that makes sense? There are many questions that people bring up about JobsOhio that I believe are valid and should be answered.
The marketplace does an excellent job in finding wage equilibrium if government interference is minimized. If we raise the minimum wage, we raise the cost of doing business, and the cost of goods and services then follow suit thereby making forced minimum wages counterintuitive.

if you look at Butler County, we have led the state in job growth and wage growth. That level of success doesn’t happen by accident. It comes from fiscally conservative principles that create the right environment for job growth. My work as a West Chester Township Trustee contributed in no small part to this success in our region. According to Money Magazine, West Chester had the highest medium household income af any community in Ohio at over $100,000. We can make Ohio the highest in the country with the right policies!
Butler County is an example of success in being responsive to business needs. We are blessed to have Butler Tech as one of the premier career education organizations in the state. In addition, we see partnerships between local universities, vocational schools and community colleges to be responsive to the business environment when it comes to training.

Ohio can do better. We need to attract more of the best talent out there. We can improve our business environment, but we can also make sure that we have a low cost of living and the amenities that the best talent wants.
Any time there is an opportunity to cut taxes, that is an opportunity to put money in the wallets of Ohio families. We reduce our cost of living by reducing our taxes. We also learn to do more with less and focus on core competencies. Ohio should be continually improving by identifying the core services that our citizens need and focusing on those.

West Chester is the only major community in Ohio that does not have an earning or income tax. Business have flocked here, wages have grown and we have not had a tax increase in our general fund in over 15 years. We can do the same for Ohio!!!

My goal is to take the "West Chester" model to Columbus. Under my watch, we succeeded in making West Chester the most business friendly community in Ohio, we have no earning or income tax, fewer regulations and a simpler zoning department than almost any other community in Ohio. As a result, West Chester has flourished, under my watch West Chester has:

* Become the largest township in Ohio

* Achieved the highest bond rating of any community in Ohio

* Consistently been named by Money Magazine as one of the most "Desirable communities in America"

* Become the number two job center in SW Ohio

* Had almost $4 billion of new commercial investment

* Had almost 40 million square feet of new commercial construction

All without a tax increase to the general fund. We have become the economic epicenter of the Cincinnati Dayton corridor, and we are the envy of many communities! I want to bring the same success to Ohio!!!
Medicaid expansion should stop. It is unsustainable.

About 50 years ago, the cost of the state government of Ohio was about 5% of Ohio's GDP, today it is about 14%. In the last 50 years, Ohio's GDP has grown at about 1,800% while the cost of Ohio's government has grown at about 5,330%. I loosely define Ohio's GDP as our funding source, we are out growing our funding source and it is unsustainable.

The cost of Kasich's Medicaid expansion is mostly being funded by the federal government, that funding source is set to end shortly, and when it does it will be a financial disaster for the businesses and tax payers of Ohio.
Everyone has a story, and those suffering addiction are people who have dreams and aspirations and found themselves in a situation they don’t know how to get out of. Sometimes veterans come back from deployment, and they find themselves suffering from undiagnosed issues. They begin to self medicate in order to deal with staying alive. I feel that we need to make sure that our veterans are not forgotten about. I’d like to see veteran courts throughout Ohio like the ones we have in Southwest Ohio.

Although it feels like an uphill battle, I’d like to see more aggressive education about addiction at a younger age.
Sometimes schools feel pressured to do too much with what they have. Just as local governments need to focus on core competencies, our schools should do the same.

School funding is also an issue that should be addressed. School funding has been an issue in Ohio for decades, and it is seen as flawed. Ohio should convene the best people to look at this issue and address it. No single candidate has the answer to school funding. But if we put the right people into the room, I know that we can achieve a successful resolution.
The current system is flawed and has a negative impact on may districts throughout our state. Ranking schools based on test results is only one method that should be used to view the success of a school district. Even the so-called “worst performing” schools have many success stories with their students. If schools are able to produce successful students, even when their test scores may be below bench marks, we need to look at the things they are doing right. This question correlates poverty to school performance. If there is a correlation, then perhaps we look at how to address poverty in our poorest school districts. Making Ohio more friendly to business and high wage jobs is a potential answer.
This is an issue that we need to look at, it is critical for our workforce development in 15-20 years.
School choice can be an amazing option for many students. In Butler County, we have great, high achieving, private schools where local parents choose to send their children. I am aware of the failing of many charter schools. Private enterprise has demonstrated that a great education can be offered outside of the public realm.

Competition is a good thing, and tends to make everyone better, however, ECOT was a disaster, Charter schools do need more accountability and in many cases need to be held to the same standards that public schools are held to. If the money is to follow the student, then accountability must follow the money!

Ohio does not have an issue attracting students, our colleges and universities are among the best in the land. our problem is retaining the talent of young people who graduate our universities and leave Ohio for better economic opportunity elsewhere.

To address this, we must continue to make Ohio more business friendly so that more businesses call make Ohio their home and the opportunities for our graduates are abundant.

My experience in local government combined with my experience in business. My life experience also uniquely qualifies me - I was born George Fabian Fajardo, the grandson of Cuban immigrants who came to America seeking the "American Dream". I spent my early years in foster care. I am a firm believer, it is not where you start in that counts, it is where you finish.

My core beliefs regarding government are:

* Government should focus on it's core competencies

* Elected Officials should strive to reduce the cost, complexity and size of government

* The best regulator is free markets and free peoples

I am happily married to my high school sweetheart who happens to be my best friend, and the most beautiful woman God ever gave the opportunity to draw a breath of air. We have two wonderful and self-supporting daughters, Amy and Alicia!
When I see the struggle with opiate addiction, I am saddened that Ohio did not have alternatives to opioids. Medical marijuana has the potential to be a less addictive alternative. Full legalization, of marijuana is not something that I support at this time. It is legal in other states, we can study the impact of those other state in a few years and see if it makes sense then.
As a foster child, I know there are real alternatives to abortion. When an abortion occurs, a beating heart stops. An individual with their own unique DNA loses their choice at life and all the choices that come with it. I am grateful for my chance at life.

I am opposed to abortion on demand, there are certain exceptions to me, those are rape, incest or if the life of the mother is at risk.
I feel that school employees should have the opportunity to be armed if properly vetted, and after completing stringent, comprehensive and ongoing training. I hear that teachers should not be given the choice of having to use a firearm. However, I want to give teachers and students the chance at life and protection. Schools are often targeted because perpetrators know that they can expect relatively little resistance. Many times when people are victimized, whether is with firearms or another mode of operation, people choose victims who are likely to be unarmed or unable to fight back. We can make our schools safer, and it can come at a low cost.
I favor the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms as they see fit. Stand your ground is essential in protecting our citizens and their rights. Concealed carry permit holders are largely law abiding citizens who engaged in a legal process to be able to carry firearms for the purposes they see fit.

I do not favor legislation that would serve to infringe on the Second Amendment.
I will work with local governments by helping them achieve what West Chester achieved under the same conditions and circumstances. Local governments must focus on core competencies. In addition, there are opportunities to reduce the size of government, and that may mean even dissolving local governments, or merging smaller townships, that struggle to provide core services. The state must also adhere to these principles.

As State Representative, I go to work every day to do the right thing for the people in my district and the people of Ohio. I work to cut waste and make Ohio the most business-friendly state in the nation. I thank the people of my district for their trust and support.
Experience I have a diverse professional background from market research at Procter & Gamble to pharmaceutical sales and retail management. Over the years I adapted my successful career to meet the needs of my growing family. After the birth of my second child, I opened my own interior design business and increased even further my active involvement in the community. I am also a strong advocate for the public schools. In many volunteer roles at multiple Lakota schools, I have helped coordinate events that have raised well over $250,000. Most recently, I was the president of the Lakota West Athletic Boosters. I served as a board member of the Butler County Board of Elections, but stepped down from that position to run for office. I serve on the board of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority.
Education I graduated from Fairfield High School in 1992. I then went to Miami University, where I majored in psychology and political science, and graduated in 1997.
Ohio’s school funding has been declared unconstitutional four times because of its over-reliance on property taxes. That puts a burden on homeowners, especially seniors on a fixed income, and on the schools. It makes it impossible to plan and budget. It creates boom and bust levy cycles. Programs get cut, then restored, the cut and restored again, and on and on. We need to commit to kids and run an evidence-based funding system. Let’s determine how much it really costs to educate a student and build our funding around that. We can work together to get the balance right at the state level and to ultimately reduce the reliance on property taxes. School funding is a complicated issue, but very necessary to solve. I’ll work with anyone – of any party – to get this right.

Another major challenge is helping Ohio’s families financially. Young people have so much college debt they can’t afford to have children or buy a house. Parents, especially with multiple children, are losing sleep wondering how to pay for college. People wonder how in the world they can ever save enough to retire. Senior citizens worry that costs, especially health care, are going up much faster than the modest increases in their income. We can make progress on all these problems, but not with the current dysfunction in Columbus. Very, very little ever gets done.
We need to get Ohio’s economy growing. Lower taxes and fewer regulations are great, but they aren’t enough. That’s all we’ve done for most of the last 20 years, and Ohio has sunk to 38th in the nation in economic development. We need to make Ohio truly business friendly. We need to invest in infrastructure, clean energy, technology, public transit, schools, communities - we need to remember - people don’t just work here, they live here.

Regarding Jobs Ohio, the idea that we have an organization dedicated to the job market is good. The problem I have is the structure of Jobs Ohio and how it is funded. We have an organization that receives tax dollars and has little to no accountability. It’s similar to ECOT. We ought to demand transparency when tax dollars are spent. With Jobs Ohio, there is a highly paid administration that is not bringing in the good-paying jobs we were promised. We need to put the needs of Ohio’s PEOPLE first, and do a comprehensive audit of Jobs Ohio. How else will we know if our tax dollars are getting the return we were promised.
I support progress toward a $15 an hour minimum wage. The average Ohioan earns 10 percent less than the average American worker. The willingness to work isn’t the problem, it’s that the work itself is no longer the solution. Too many jobs are low-paying and offer little to no benefits. We are fortunate to live in a mostly affluent community but there is more poverty both locally and statewide than you think. If you work hard, you ought to be able to get ahead and you shouldn’t have to be on food stamps. We need an economy that works for all Ohioans.

A minimum wage helps reduce poverty, helps families survive, and encourages the unemployed to work. When you look at the ten states with the highest minimum wages in the country, they all have strong economies. Ohio isn’t one of them. Our economy suffers when people can’t earn a wage they can survive on.
There are many pathways to success other than college. Vocational training programs, associate degree programs, and especially vocational retraining are all parts of the answer to this problem. If we partner with trade and labor organizations, Ohio can offer some of the best apprenticeship programs to train highly skilled workers that are so desperately needed.
We consistently cut income taxes, and then we raided the Local Government Fund to balance the budget. I support lower taxes – I’m a taxpayer too. But just cutting taxes, by itself, does not spur economic growth. It’s an idea that’s failed time and time again. Businesses invest in growth when there’s demand for their products and services, and when their employees can live in areas with good schools and safe communities. It’s imperative that we expand the tax base in Ohio. Over the last decade we lost 500,000 workers, with people moving out of state after graduation and an aging workforce.

Taxes should be low, but we also value essential services like police and fire, good schools, safe roads and bridges, clean water and modern sewage systems, and more.
Preserving the Medicaid Expansion should matter to ALL of us. The expansion provides medical care for poor children, strengthens local mental health and addiction services, and protects hospitals, which are major employers, from federal cuts. It also reduces emergency room use. If we want to people to move off Medicaid, we need to bring more good-paying jobs to Ohio. I will gladly put people over politics and work with anyone to do that.
This is personal to me. I have someone in my family struggling with addiction. If you don’t personally know someone who is struggling, it’s easy to think that they are not trying. The truth is, addiction is a disease. We need to stop the blame game and look at what we know is working in other areas. It’s going to take a comprehensive approach that includes affordable and accessible treatment. Right now, it’s hard for people to get effective treatment if there is no court order or if they don’t have financial resources.

We need more beds, extended treatment, recovery housing, follow-up treatments and family supports. We need support for local first responders with training on using Narcan and other resources. And because this is a public health crisis, we need to offer treatment and the ability to maintain gainful employment as an alternative to incarceration, along with an increase in access to mental health treatment.

It’s time we get serious about tackling addiction, and that means putting aside our politics for a common cause.
The key to a strong economy is a high quality education.

We ought to be: • Supporting the whole child • Investing in early childhood education • Supporting educators who have to do more with less • Incorporating wrap-around services (schools could be hubs for healthy communities, especially in high poverty areas) • Reducing the high stakes standardized testing to allow for more innovation • And we’ve got to END the state takeover plan. When districts are struggling, the state should respect local control and work WITH communities to transform struggling schools.

It’s time to work together to strengthen education
Test scores are only one way to measure schools. They’re important but there’s much more. We also need to look at graduation rates, attendance rates, discipline trends, what’s offered in extracurriculars and participation rates in them, technology available to students and staff, turnover rates among the employees, physical condition of the buildings and equipment…there’s so much more than test scores, even though they are important.

We can hold schools accountable and measure progress, but tie the results to growth, planning and support, and not to punishment.

The current system rewards affluent districts and stigmatizes poor ones. We need to fix the real issue, and that is the highly unequal school funding in Ohio. Your zip code should not determine the quality of your education. If we use an evidence-based model to determine the real cost of educating a child, we can then build an effective formula around that.

We ought to be placing education at a high priority in Ohio, and funding it as though our future economy depends on it. Because it does.

We can improve learning gains for all students, regardless of wealth, by understanding and responding to each student’s needs. Every student is different, with different learning styles, aptitudes, and abilities. Every student learns differently. Teachers call it “differentiation,” and know how to do it. But it requires reasonable class sizes, classroom supports, such as aides, and technology that’s age-appropriate and works. When it’s done well, students will show strong learning gains, regardless of the community’s wealth.
It’s important that all kindergarteners are prepared for learning. Only 40 percent of those in Ohio come to class ready to learn. If we wait until kindergarten, we are missing out on critical early learning opportunities.

We need to expand access to preschool across Ohio, and partner with all interested stakeholders to be sure that there are quality and accessible early education programs. It’s not just low-income families that struggle with this. Quality, high-performing pre-schools can be a significant financial burden for almost all families.

This should not be a partisan issue. We should all work together to support early childhood education. Those efforts will pay dividends later in better grades, higher graduation rates and greater success in life.
Whether it’s with traditional public, private, charter schools, or homeschooling, Ohio should always empower parents with choices for their children. But, the state has an obligation to ensure those choices are quality ones. Only non-profit charter schools should be eligible for state dollars, and that funding should be based on student learning rather than time logged in. It should also not come at the expense of public schools. Whenever it comes to public dollars, there must be total transparency and accountability.

We need to hold charters to the same standards and expectations as traditional public schools.

Ohio can become a true innovator in education. We can accomplish this when we put the needs of Ohio’s families over those of special interests.
We have a daughter in college – at Ohio State – and it’s expensive! And we have three more to follow!

Ohio ranks 45th in the nation in college affordability AND we lead the nation in student debt. This is no way to send our young adults off to start their lives saddled with debt. We need to adjust loan payments so they’re a reasonable percentage of the graduate’s income, guarantee tuition rates for each class, and expand the Ohio College Opportunity Grant. We also need to invest in job training and apprenticeship programs so that we can educate skilled workers – as an alternative to college.

It’s time to send leaders to Columbus who will make it a priority to prepare ALL of our kids for their future.
I have many years of experience in business, in community service, and in the political world. I know how to work with others, including those who disagree with me or belong to a different party, and still get things done together. I don’t believe in name-calling or personal attacks.
It makes business sense to legalize marijuana at some point in the future. If done properly, and taxed appropriately, a much-needed revenue stream could become available. This is a perfect opportunity to work with stakeholders and experts and put the interests of Ohio over politics.
I don’t like abortion. I’d like to see the abortion rate cut dramatically and I think the best way to do that is to focus on preventing unplanned pregnancies. Making something illegal doesn’t make it go away.

This is an agonizing decision between a woman and her medical provider. I believe women are competent enough to make these choices, and we don’t need a politician in Columbus involved.

I believe we need to keep it safe and legal, and work to make it rare.
I have four children. THIS is what keeps me up at night. It’s gut wrenching worrying about a school shooting.

I’m also a gun owner. I support the Second Amendment. But I don’t support arming teachers. What I do support is the state working with school boards to make schools safer – and the districts doing what works best in their districts – like a well-trained officer in each building. We also need more support for kids who are isolated and struggling.

We need politicians who don’t have a vested interest in the gun industry, and who are willing to put people over political parties and special interests to find common sense solutions – like stronger background checks and closing the gun show loophole (which most Ohioans support) to prevent gun violence.

I support the Second Amendment. I am a gun owner. I have a Concealed Carry Permit. But I do favor common sense approaches to reducing gun violence. I support stronger background checks, and age limits on sales of semiautomatic weapons. Most Ohioans agree with me.
John Kasich orchestrated a major tax shift. In order to pay for huge tax cuts, he took back the funds that had – for many decades – been sent back to local communities. This shifted the tax burden back to us to cover the same services we were already getting with NEW levies and taxes. We need to restore those revenues to the Local Government Fund so that we can keep our communities safe, healthy, and vibrant, with the tax dollars we already pay.

I have over 20 years’ experience in leadership and management roles. I’m a project manager by nature. I build relationships, collaborate, I LISTEN, and know when to be a leader and when to let someone else take the lead.

The best example I can provide would be the Lakota Levy Committee of 2013. I was part of a team of volunteers – all leaders, all successful in their fields. Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – we had a common cause and found a way to work together. But I also don’t want to have to do it again and again. We need to reduce the burden on homeowners.

I am principled, ethical, determined, and I care very deeply about our community and our state. I want to make Ohio’s future brighter for everyone by strengthening schools and bringing more good-paying jobs here.

The people of this district – and all of Ohio – deserve a representative who will serve with integrity and represent their values.