Three Republican candidates are running for 66th District State Representative in the March 6 primary election, all hoping to take the place of current State Rep. Joseph Uecker, who is unable to run because of term limits.
Doug Green, Rick Herron, and Nick Owens, will all be on the March 6 ballot along with Ken McNeely, Jr., an unopposed Democrat.
Doug Green, of Brown County, has served as that county’s auditor since 1998. Prior to that he served as the recorder for more than 10 years and also served as the secretary of the Brown County Records Commission for 14 years.
“I know what it takes to balance a budget, I understand our tax system and the burden it places on our residents,” Green said. “I am a lifelong resident of this area, I understand its issues and what matters most to people who live here.”
Green said he decided to run for state representative because he realized that in order to help fix problems in his community, he would have to first help fix problems in Columbus and Washington D.C.
“I decided that if I wanted to make a difference for the people of the 66th district, I needed to go to the source,” Green said.
Green said a key issue facing the district and the state right now is jobs. He said he does not believe the government should create jobs, but does believe the government should help provide an environment where jobs can be created.
To accomplish this if elected, Green said he would work with the governor and the legislature to enact reforms that have been proposed, specifically the JobsOhio plan. He also said he would work also work to streamline the Bureau of Worker’s Compensation.
“We have to hold the line on taxes and spending, we have to streamline state regulations and promote job creation,” Green said. “If elected, I will regularly meet with business owners and job creators in the district so that I can take their issues directly to Columbus.”
Rick Herron, of Tate Township, is also running for state representative with ideas of changing things for the district and state.
Herron is currently an independent computer consultant and also owns a farm where he raises sheep and miniature donkeys. He served in the United States Navy for six years, spending most of his time as a medical corpsman.
And while he has not been directly involved in politics, Herron said he has studied government, economics and the nations founding documents most of his adult life.
“Based on these documents I understand the proper role of government,” Herron said. “My approach is one of getting back to basics: limited government, lower taxes, less regulation, fiscal responsibility.”
Herron agreed that jobs are an issue in the district and state. He said the government can’t create jobs, but sales can, and the only thing the state can do about jobs is remove the barriers to citizens who make sales.
“Those barriers being personal and corporate income tax, property tax, regulation and the cost thereof,” Herron said.
In addition, Herron said, the state needs to eliminate borrowing and work to move the point of tax collection from before a sale to after a sale.
“Taxing after the sale puts our citizens at a competitive advantage by removing the hidden costs embedded in the price or our products,” he said.
Herron also said he believes educational funding in the state should change and should be in the form of vouchers so parents can educate their children the way they choose.
“I am an average citizen who loves liberty and is dumbfounded by our nation’s headlong rush into socialism, bankruptcy, and the eventual tyranny that must surely follow,” Herron said. “I am running for this office in the hope that I can do my part to reverse this national suicide.”
The third Republican candidate in the primary election is Nick Owens, a lifelong resident of Batavia who is currently attending University of Dayton School of Law.
“The reason I am running is because I deeply care about the community where I am from,” Owens said. “I have the education, legislative experience and the passion to get the job done from day one.”
Owens graduated from Batavia High School in 2003 and was enrolled in University of Cincinnati Clermont College during his junior and senior year. He graduated from the University of Cincinnati College of Business when he was 20 years old.
After graduating, Owens volunteered to help with Republican campaigns and became a staff assistant to Congresswoman Jean Schmidt. Owens transferred to Washington D.C., where he was promoted to legislative corespondent, and after several years decided to return to Ohio to work on his law degree.
“As a first generation college graduate in my family, I think it is important to have a college education,” Owens said. “And I am the only one in the race who does.”
Owens said being able to get things done from day one is crucial coming in as a new representative. He said his experience and familiarity with the government, in addition to the work he is already doing, will enable him to make progress.
“Unfortunately, politicians and government officials behave in ways that are reactive and not proactive,” Owens said. “With term limits, it is vital you have someone in office that is effective from day one. I am going to be that squeaky wheel for my constituents.”
Owens said he is already working to create dialog with officials about issues the district faces, which include jobs, duplicate services, issues with roads and infrastructure and more.
“I certainly think jobs are the number one priority,” Owens said. “More needs to be done.”
He said while he can’t promise he can create jobs, he said would work tirelessly if elected to help enable businesses to locate in Ohio and create a business climate without as many regulations.
In addition, Owens said improving infrastructure and making changes to roads and interstates throughout Ohio will benefit the state and help create an improved climate.
“Just Monday I sent a letter to ODOT (Ohio Department of Transportation),” Owens said. “We need to fix US 68 and state Route 32. I cannot be starting a dialog six months into office, I need the ODOT director to know who Nick Owens is.”
Owens said he would also like reduce duplicative services in the state and work to create a framework so local governments could work together and be rewarded for collaboration and consolidation.
“It has to be revising the Ohio Revised Code and it has to be being more competitive than the states next to you, it has to be having a more educated work force,” Owens said about what it takes to make improvements.
Owens said that while he is only 27, his youth means energy, new ideas and new perspectives for his district.
“In a primary election, whatever the party, you are going to be similar,” Owens said. “You have to peel back the onion and look at who is going to get it done from day one.”