Slate of candidates includes many incumbents, familiar namesWritten by Tom Konecny | | firstname.lastname@example.org
From Lucas County Auditor Anita Lopez to longtime Congressional representatives Marcy Kaptur, Bob Latta and Teresa Fedor to Lucas County Commissioner Carol Contrada, area voters will find plenty of familiar names on the Nov. 4 ballot, with a few new challengers thrown into the mix and several races unopposed.
Polls are open on Election Day 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Early voting is available at BTC Properties, 1946 N. 13th St., 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Nov. 1, 1-5 p.m. Nov. 2 and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Nov. 3.
For the lone open Lucas County Commissioner seat, incumbent Democrat Contrada, the board’s president, squares off against Republican challenger Kevin Haddad.
“I am coordinating regional economic development initiatives to bring jobs to Lucas County, ensuring a strong economic future; fighting to restore Lake Erie and protect our local water supply; and championing criminal justice reforms to keep our neighborhoods safe,” Contrada said. “I am committed to solving these critical issues and will continue to provide strong leadership and get results for the citizens of Lucas County.”
Haddad is a former trustee for Sylvania Township and longtime owner of Kevin Haddad Design Group on Monroe Street.
“I’m running because there’s been no balance on the county courts for 12 years and no one’s overlooking the funding,” he said. “When you have three people who agree on 99 percent of everything, their view on funding is not necessarily in the people’s interests. I’m looking out for the taxpayers’ dollars to see that things are paid for correctly.”
Lucas County Auditor
In the race for Lucas County auditor, incumbent Democrat Anita Lopez faces Republican John Navarre.
Navarre has worked in the Lucas County Auditor’s office for the past 12 years, most of that time as a state-certified licensed appraiser. Navarre also has experience in residential and commercial property departments.
“My main goal is to make sure that everyone’s property is valued fairly and equitably without any bias,” Navarre said. “I want to make sure that no one in Lucas County is paying more than their fair share.”
Lopez has served as auditor since 2006, and ran for Toledo mayor last year. Previously, she served as Lucas County recorder from 2004-06, worked for the City of Toledo under Mayor Jack Ford, and has served on the Toledo Public Schools Board of Education. Lopez did not respond to an interview request.
Ohio House — District 44
In the race for 44th District Ohio House of Representatives seat, Democrat incumbent Michael Ashford faces Republican challenger John Insco.
Ashford is serving his second term in the Ohio House. Prior to that, he was appointed to Toledo City Council in 2002 and served as president in 2007. He could not be reached for comment.
Insco is a drugstore chain district manager who believes that experience will translate well into government.
“Business people understand government. We deal with the excess regulation, overreach, bloated rules and regulations, and most agree that if the presidential election was run today, [Mitt] Romney would win by a landslide,” Insco said. “As a district manager, I have ran over 30 major chain drugstores with sales over $100 million and overseen a staff of well over 200. Compare that in the real world to a community organizer.”
Ohio House — District 45
In the Ohio House’s 45th District, Democrat incumbent Teresa Fedor will square off against Republican challenger James Nowak.
Fedor has represented the 45th and 47th Districts since 2010. She previously served in the House from 2000-02, and in the Ohio Senate from 2002-10. Fedor also served in the Air Force and Ohio National Guard.
Nowak has worked as a Toledo attorney for the past 30 years, and ran unsuccessfully for a Toledo City Council seat last year.
Neither Fedor nor Nowak responded to a request for comment.
Ohio House — District 46
In the Ohio House’s 46th District, Democrat incumbent Michael Sheehy faces Republican Drew Blazsik.
Sheehy is serving an unexpired term in the seat vacated by former state Rep. Matt Szollosi. Sheehy has served in municipal government for nearly two decades, including several terms as president of Oregon City Council and most recently on Oregon Council’s Public Utilities and Environment Committees, as well as being chairman of Oregon Council’s Safety Committee.
“One of the things I’m concerned about is the water crisis,” Sheehy said. “I have legislation which will help reduce the nutrient load that goes into the Maumee River system. I have been very involved, so I’m pretty well versed in what’s going on. I’m also very keen on the fact that our jobs and quality of life are protected in Northwest Ohio.”
Blazsik has worked in business for the past 11 years. He graduated from the University of Toledo and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in economics.
“My vision for Ohio is to utilize my economics background to make Ohio the most competitive state for jobs and the best place for raising a family,” Blazsik said. “I got into politics because I felt like the free market is under attack in this country. I feel like it’s imperative for Ohio to have strong leaders that have the ability to explain how the free market system has lifted people out of poverty and created the greatest wealth seen in history.”
Ohio House — District 47
Republican incumbent Barbara Sears is running unopposed for the Ohio House’s 47th District seat.
Ohio Senate — District 11
Democrat incumbent Edna Brown, the minority whip, is seeking to retain her Ohio Senate District 11 seat against Republican challenger Ernest McCarthy.
Brown was elected to her position in 2010, previously serving in the Ohio House from 2002-10. She also worked for 32 years with the City of Toledo, followed by an eight-year tenure on Toledo City Council (1994-2002).
“My vision for the next General Assembly is to work in a bipartisan manner to address critical issues such as cuts to local governments and schools; adequate treatment and access to mental health treatment, addiction services and substance abuse, particularly the heroin and opioid epidemic,” Brown said.
McCarthy is hoping to win by spreading his message by foot.
“As your senator, I will truly promote economic development and small business growth in the Toledo area,” McCarthy said. “We truly need our elected officials promoting jobs and the benefits of the Toledo area. When elected, you can be certain I will work to bring jobs to the Toledo area and truly promote small business growth.”
U.S. House — District 5
The 5th District finds Republican Bob Latta, now in his fourth term, facing competition from Democrat Robert Fry and Libertarian Eric Eberly.
Latta, a lifelong resident of Northwest Ohio, served as a Wood County commissioner from 1991-96 before serving in the Ohio Senate from 1997-2001, and the Ohio House from 2001-07.
“I am constantly in the district meeting with my constituents and listening to their concerns on how federal laws and regulations affect them, and I take these views with me when I cast my votes in Washington,” Latta said. “Throughout my tenure in Congress, I have worked to foster an environment where individuals and businesses can succeed.”
Fry, a Navy veteran, has served as a minister in Maumee for 29 years.
“I’ve lived and worked a lifetime for the people in District 5, and I don’t like what I’m seeing in Washington,” Fry said. “People need represented, and I’ve only seen the corporations represented. There must be a balance between the corporations and the people. Our working middle class is being pushed into the working poor.”
Eberly, a real estate agent and chef, has lived in Bowling Green for over 12 years. He has served as executive committee treasurer and secretary of the Libertarian Party of Wood County since 2010.
“My campaign has been focused on changing mindsets and changing methods in Columbus,” Eberly said. “The hyperpartisan legislature and state offices have not had the best interest of our local communities in mind, and we have seen mostly continued campaigning from officeholders, and less work toward solid ends that benefit Ohioans long term.”
U.S. House — District 9
In District 9, Democrat Marcy Kaptur is serving her 16th term, the senior-most woman in the U.S. House of Representatives. She faces independents Cory Hoffman of Huron and George Skalsky of Cleveland and Republican Richard May of Cleveland.
“I have been privileged to serve the people of Ohio’s 9th District in robust and lean economic times,” Kaptur said. “Throughout these years I have delivered results and a proven track record of service. The life of our family here in northern Ohio mirrors the struggles of families throughout the region. A desire to serve others, a diverse educational background, experience in urban planning and development, and the experiences I have gained as a senior legislator, provide a strong base from which I seek to continue to serve.”
Hoffman, an attorney who joined the Navy Reserve while a student at Bowling Green State University, is running in his first campaign.
“I’m tired of living in a bad economy and we don’t have to,” Hoffman said. “Congress has the power to fix it and they don’t either out of ignorance or malevolence.”
Skalsky said he doesn’t think he’s going to win, but hopes his candidacy calls attention to issues.
“I am a write-in candidate in order to focus my attention on calling for a broad ‘pro-big-D democracy in America’ movement,” Skalsky said.
May worked for 23 years as a warehouse circulation manager for the Cleveland Edition and Plain Press newspapers, and said he believes that helps him in understanding working-class voters.
Lucas County — Judicial
In Lucas County, Democrat Jay Feldstein and Republican Lisa McGowan are vying for Common Pleas Judge, Domestic Relations Division, and either Democrat Ian English or Republican Mark Davis will be elected Common Pleas Judge, General Trial Division.
A lifelong Toledoan, Feldstein has practiced law for 35 years. He’s also practiced extensively in domestic relations proceedings as well as other areas of law, including criminal defense and civil litigation.
“If elected, it would give me an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives, while also giving back to the legal profession,” Feldstein said.
McGowan is a magistrate with the Lucas County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division, where she has served since 1999.
“Once I started hearing cases as a judicial officer, I knew that I could do so much more for our court and the families we serve,” McGowan said.
English has worked for the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office since 2001 and has also taught at the University of Toledo as an adjunct professor.
Davis has practiced law and taught classes at the University of Toledo for the past 10 years, in such varied topics as environmental, construction, criminal, contract, fraud and medical malpractice law. Prior to his law career, Davis was involved in business, having worked in Europe and traveled to over 60 countries.
Both English and Davis support the formation of a drug court.
State — Judicial
Two state justices of the Supreme Court will be elected: Democrat Tom Letson is challenging Republican incumbent Sharon Kennedy, and Democrat John O’Donnell is challenging Republican incumbent Judi French.
Letson, who has practiced law for 20 years, is currently in his fourth term as a state representative in Trumbull County. He is not eligible to run for another term there.
Prior to her 2012 election to the Ohio Supreme Court, Kennedy served at the Butler County Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division and as administrative judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Domestic Relations Division. O’Donnell is a judge in the Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas.
Neither Letson nor Kennedy responded to an interview request.
French was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court by Gov. John Kasich.
“Having been a judge on the 10th District Court of Appeals for eight years, I was ready to jump into this position when Gov. Kasich appointed me to fill a vacancy in January 2013,” French said. “Now I have a 10-year record as a judge who defines my role in a limited way and does not legislate from the bench.”
O’Donnell said the most important trait for a judge is independence.
“Public confidence that courts are independent may wane if judges are seen as too closely connected to the powers that be in the political branches,” he said.
More statewide races
Republican incumbent Josh Mandel faces Democrat Connie Pillich for State Treasurer.
Republican incumbent Dave Yost faces Democrat John Patrick Carney and Libertarian Bob Bridges to retain his State Auditor position.
For attorney general, incumbent Republican Mike DeWine will face Democrat David Pepper.
Incumbent Republican Jon Husted will face Democrat Nina Turner and Libertarian Kevin Knedler in the race for Secretary of State.
Tags: Anita Lopez, Bob Latta, Carol Contrada, Cory Hoffman, Drew Blazsik, Edna Brown, Eric Eberly, Ernest McCarthy, Ian English, James Nowak, Jay Feldstein, John Insco, John Navarre, Judi French, Kevin Haddad, Lisa McGowan, Marcy Kaptur, Mark Davis, Michael Ashford, Michael Sheehy, Richard May, Robert Fry, slider, Teresa Fedor, Tom Letson