Editor's note: A previous version omitted the names of Connie Pillich and Scott Schertzer.
Election Day is Tuesday, and while it hasn't garnered as much attention as a presidential or midterm year, there are still many important races on Akron area ballots this year. The Jasen Sokol Show has talked to many of the key candidates and representatives from the hotly contested ballot issues over the last few weeks. If you missed any of the interviews, you can find them below.
The race to replace Rep. Jim Renacci in Congress is heating up.
State Rep. Tom Patton (R-Strongsville) announced he's entering the race for the Republican nomination for the 16th Congressional District. Patton currently serves as Majority Whip in the General Assembly. He also served in the State Senate from 2008-2016. He'll face State Rep. Christina Hagan (R-Alliance) in the GOP primary.
Patton joined Jasen to talk about why he's running and share his ideas on health care and the economy.
It hasn't exactly been a secret that Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor is planning a run for Governor. But she officially launched her campaign Friday in a City Club Forum in Cleveland. She joined Jasen on Monday to talk about the campaign and her ideas on the opiate crisis, jobs, and education.
We're more than five months away from Election Day, but one ballot issue is already gaining attention and filling up the airwaves.
The Ohio Drug Price Relief Act would require the state to pay no more than what the Department of Veterans Affairs pays for prescription drugs. It would affect state agencies that purchase prescription drugs including Medicaid, the Department of Health, retirement plans, prisons, and workers compensation.
Dennis Willard, spokesman for Ohio Taxpayers for Lower Drug Prices, joined Jasen to speak in favor of the ballot issue while Dale Butland of Ohioans Against the Deceptive Rx Ballot Issue presented the opposition.
There's another local candidate in the race for Secretary of State.
State Rep. Kathleen Clyde (D-Kent) announced her candidacy earlier this week. She joined The Jasen Sokol Show on Friday to talk about her decision to run and the changes she plans to make if she's elected.
Hudson Republican Frank LaRose is setting his sights on a statewide office. The State Senator is running for Secretary of State, using YouTube to get his message out to supporters.
He also joined The Jasen Sokol Show to discuss why he's running and what he plans to do if elected.
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(LaRose Campaign) Ohio Senator Frank LaRose today officially declared his candidacy for Ohio Secretary of State. LaRose is a two-term state senator from northeast Ohio and decorated combat veteran who served in the U.S. Army Special Forces. His candidacy was announced through a video posted on FrankLaRose.com and sent to supporters.
“I am running for Secretary of State because of my great respect for the power of free elections. Because of this, I have an unwavering commitment to protect the integrity of our elections and defend Ohioans access to this fundamental right,” said LaRose. “I believe our elected leaders must aspire to civility, find common ground and work together while still upholding their deeply held briefs. As a principled conservative, I have endeavored to work with my colleagues on opposing sides of an issue while holding true to my core beliefs.As Secretary of State, I will work to foster cooperation and inspire confidence in Ohio’s election system and those who administer it.
”As a Senator, LaRose has authored laws that protect the integrity of the ballot box, modernize voter registration and prevent voter fraud. His successful legislative initiatives include Ohio’s new online voter registration system and state funding for electronic poll books. LaRose has also authored legislation to reform Ohio’s redistricting process.In addition, LaRose has sponsored legislation eliminating antiquated business regulations and streamlining the interactions between state government and small business owners.
During the Iraq War, LaRose earned the Bronze Star for his service as a Green Beret in the U.S. Army Special Forces. As a Green Beret and also as a member of the 101st Airborne Division, he defended American interests in several troubled areas including Iraq, Afghanistan, Kosovo and on the southern U.S. border.
“In Iraq and Kosovo, I had the privilege of witnessing dedicated men and women taking great risks to exercise their right to vote,” said LaRose. “I witnessed first hand their sacrifices in order to vote and have a voice in their government’s future for the first time in history.
As Ohio Secretary of State, those experiences will continue to inspire me as I work to administrator fair, free and open elections.”In advance of his candidacy for Secretary of State, LaRose has shadowed board of elections directors in multiple counties to learn more about their Election Day responsibilities. In recent months, he has visited with local Republican leaders in 80 of Ohio’s 88 counties and attended 38 local Republican Party events, such as Lincoln Day Dinners.
LaRose is a graduate of The Ohio State University. He lives in Hudson with his wife Lauren and their three young children.
LaRose key legislative initiatives include:
• Sponsored legislation that created Ohio’s first online voter registration system, enhancing access while combating fraud;
• Successfully pushed for state funding of electronic poll books;
• Championed legislation to reform Ohio’s legislative and congressional redistricting processes;• Sponsored legislation enhancing transparency by requiring electronic filing of campaign finance reports by local candidates;• Sponsored legislation to fund the replacement of aging voting equipment;
• Sponsored cost-savings elections legislation that would eliminate primary elections when only one candidate appears on a partisan ballot;
• Sponsored legislation eliminating antiquated small business regulations and streamlining communication between state government and small business owners; and• Co-sponsored legislation that reduced filing fees for new business registrations at the Ohio Secretary of State’s office.
LaRose career highlights include:
• Currently serving his second term in the Ohio Senate representing citizens in Stark, Summit and Wayne counties;
• Awarded the Bronze Star for his service as a Green Beret in Iraq; and• A 10-year U.S. Army veteran, serving in the 101st Airborne Division and the U.S. Special Forces, achieving the rank of Sergeant First Class
The large field of contenders for Governor got larger Monday with the announcement that Nan Whaley will run for the office.
Whaley, who has served as Mayor of Dayton since 2014, joined Jasen on Tuesday to talk about why she decided to run, some of the issues she'll run on, and how she plans to set herself apart from an already crowded field of candidates.
The 2018 gubernatorial race is heating up as another Republican contender has entered the race.
Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted announced his candidacy late Saturday night with a video posted to his social media accounts. On Monday, he joined Jasen to talk about his decision to run for Governor and some of the issues he'll run on.
Clarence Mingo is the newest person to throw his hat in the ring for the 2018 election.
Currently the Franklin County Auditor, Mingo will run for the Republican nomination for State Treasurer. He currently has one opponent in the GOP field, State Rep. Robert Sprague of Findlay. No Democrats have announced bids.
Mingo joined Jasen to introduce himself to Akron area voters and talk about his ideas for the office if he's elected.
The Democratic gubernatorial field grew again Monday as former State Rep. Connie Pillich announced that she is entering the race. Pillich, who also ran for State Treasurer in 2014, joined Jasen to discuss why she's running for Governor and give her thoughts on health care reform and the heroin epidemic.