Candidates for 80thDistrict state representative and the 8thDistrict U.S. Congress talked about an array of topics including their qualifications, school security and the opioid epidemic during a Meet the Candidate night April 11 at Troy Junior High School.
The 80thDistrict in the Ohio House of Representatives includes Miami and a portion of Darke counties. Current Rep. Steve Huffman, R-Tipp City, is seeking the 5thDistrict seat in the Ohio Senate now held by Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City.
Candidates for the seat are all Republicans. They are John “Bud” O’Brien of Monroe Township, George Lovett of Tipp City, J.D. Winteregg of Troy and Jena Powell of Darke County.
The candidates for the 8thDistrict in Congress were Democrats. Republican incumbent Warren Davidson of Troy is unopposed in the May primary. The candidates are Bill Ebben, Vanessa Enoch, Matthew Guyette and Ted Jones.
In the 80thDistrict race:
Lovett said he is pro-life and wants to make government more efficient. A Tipp City resident and lawyer, he is a former Tipp City councilmember and mayor. “The number one problem we have is the opioid crisis,” he said. He pointed to the One Wellness Place proposal by the TriCounty Board of Recovery and Mental Health as a step in the right direction of solving the issue.
O’Brien used part of his opening remarks to address what he called the “dirty, negative campaigning” seen in a mailer sent by an out of state PAC attacking him. He said he is proud of his leadership and accomplishments as a county commissioner. Control needs to return to local schools and more focus is needed on jobs and workforce development, O’Brien said.
Powell is a graduate of Liberty University and co-owns/manages a billboard company. “For years we have elected the same kind of people, politicians who feel like it is the next notch in their political belt … We look at our community and see what that has gotten us,” she said citing the opioid crisis and Common Core in education.
Winteregg is a former teacher now working at a grain elevator. He said the state of government is the result of what happens when career politicians are elected. “I want you to get beyond,” he said challenging voters to select someone who knows about education and dealing with restrictive regulations.
In the Congressional race:
Ebben of West Chester said he supports American values and is pro family. “I think that 80 percent of Americans have good common sense and we can get something done, if we work together,” he said. Ebben said the war on drugs is not working and a different approach is desperately needed.
Enoch of West Chester said she was a first-generation college graduate and has a PhD in public policy and social change. “I am running to give voters a real choice for change,” she said, noting she is the single mother of two daughters. “I understand the challenges that real people face.”
Guyette of Greenville said he has worked in municipal government, banking and as an interpretive guide at the U.S. Capitol. He said the U.S. is different from other countries because it lives under the rule of law. He said he is interested in integrity and wants to see that in a candidate.
Jones of Piqua said the country faces many issues cutting across party lines. He said his work in business has given him skills in problem solving and bringing people together. “People are asking for change and better representation in Congress,” he said. “We deserve better.”