Governor and Lieutenant Governor
Richard Cordray and Betty Sutton (Democrat)
Cordray is running for governor with his running parter Sutton as lieutenant governor. Cordray previously served as Ohio’s attorney general and state treasurer. Most recently, former President Barack Obama appointed Cordray as the first-ever director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Sutton was the first woman to serve as a Democrat representing Ohio in the U.S. House of Representatives, where she served from 2006-2012. Their campaign website lists the opioid crisis, supporting small businesses, healthcare and clean energy as among their priorities. Education is also important to the pair, who are focused on increasing access to pre-K programs and community college. They have backed laws that would ban discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity. They are pro-choice, in favor of Issue 1 and oppose right-to-work laws. Cordray held an “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA) as recently as 2010, but says that his position on gun control has changed since then; he is now in favor of “common-sense” reforms.
Mike DeWine and Jon Husted (Republican)
DeWine is running for governor with his run
ning parter Husted as liteutenat governor. DeWine has served as Ohio’s attorney general since 2011, and he was a U.S. senator from 1995-2007. He has also served as a state senator, lieutenant governor and a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. His running partner Husted, a major advocate for tax cuts and a former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, is Ohio’s current secretary of state. DeWine and Husted are focusing on job creation, education, drug addiction and support for law enforcement. They intend to lower healthcare costs and ensure coverage for people with preexisting conditions. DeWine is strongly opposed to Issue 1 and holds a “C” rating from the NRA. He is in favor of defunding Planned Parenthood. President Donald Trump endorses DeWine, and current governor John Kasich will campaign for him this week. DeWine and Husted both endorsed Trump in 2016, but waited to do so until after he became the Republican nominee.
Constance Gadell-Newton and Brett R. Joseph (Green)
Former Ohio Green Party Co-Chair Constance Gadell-Newton currently practices criminal defense and juvenile law in a Columbus firm. In her work, she advocates against human trafficking and for victims of domestic abuse. Her running mate, Lorain County Community College professor Brett Joseph, served as an environmental and international attorney with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for 15 years. They list protection for reproductive freedoms, decriminalization of marijuana, conservation of Ohio’s wildlife and expansion of treatment for mental health and addiction among their priorities. As a self-described social justice activist, Gadell-Newton has aligned herself with LGBTQ+ rights groups and the Black Lives Matter movement. The Green Party’s 2016 presidential candidate Jill Stein endorses this ticket.
Travis M. Irvine and J. Todd Grayson (Libertarian)
Travis Irvine, a graduate of Columbia University’s School of Journalism, moonlights as a writer, actor and stand-up comedian; one of his campaign goals is to bring humor into politics. He founded an anti-John Kasich PAC (cheekily named “Central Ohioans Countering Kasich”) in 2014 and is best known for his satirical campaign ads. His running mate J. Todd Grayson co-owns an Ohio-based rubber tubing distribution company and specializes in small business policy. Irvine lists comprehensive tax reform, criminal justice reform and the legalization of marijuana as his top three priorities. He is against the death penalty, favors protecting the Second Amendment and tentatively endorses Issue 1. If elected, he would work to pardon all nonviolent drug offenders.
Steve Dettelbach (Democrat)
Steve Dettelbach was a federal prosecutor for more than two decades before stepping down to enter private practice in 2016. He has been critical of previous Attorney General Mike DeWine, who is now running for governor. If elected, Dettelbach hopes to serve the needs of rural Ohio, address the opioid crisis, enact redistricting reforms and combat corruption in both parties. He is in favor of gun control and has promised to help protect healthcare coverage for preexisting conditions. He lists sexual harassment and human trafficking as his two critical social justice issues. Dettelbach has broken rank with fellow Ohio Democrats to oppose Issue 1. Former President Barack Obama endorses him.
Dave Yost (Republican)
Dave Yost is Ohio’s current auditor. He is not in favor of Issue 1 and proposes that Ohio find a different way to reform its drug laws. To address school shootings, Yost is in favor of enacting voluntary training programs that will allow experienced teachers and staff to carry guns in school. He says that he does not view the office of the attorney general as a political position. During the 2016 presidential primary, he was a staunch critic of President Donald Trump, but campaigned for him once he was nominated. The Columbus Dispatch endorses him.
Secretary of State
Kathleen Clyde (Democrat)
Kathleen Clyde is a member of the Ohio House of Representatives. She has served on multiple House committees, including the Ohio Constitutional Modernization Commission and the Energy and Natural Resources Committee. As an advocate for women’s rights, she is the lead sponsor of the Ohio Equal Pay Act and has fought to protect reproductive healthcare rights. If elected, she promises to help bring new businesses to Ohio, lower college tuition and enact election reforms, including laws to make elections more transparent and end gerrymandering. She also hopes to enact automatic voter registration and extend Ohio’s registration deadline. EMILY’s List, which endorses pro-choice candidates, and former President Barack Obama endorse her.
Frank LaRose (Republican)
U.S. Army Special Forces verteran and fourth-term Ohio State Senator Frank LaRose, a member of the National Institute for Civil Discourse, is an advocate for campaign finance reform, lower taxes and small business owners. In the Senate, he broke party ranks to enact an online voter registration law. He also voted in favor of the controversial Bill 5, which would have limited collective bargaining rights for state employees. The Columbus Dispatch endorses his candidacy.
Dustin R. Nanna (Libertarian)
Twenty-three year old Dustin Nanna is a self-described Jeffersonian Republican. He serves as the vice chairman of the Ohio Libertarian Party and is a personal care professional for developmentally disabled people. His policy goals include enacting automatic voter registration and petition reform. He is also a major advocate for more third-party candidacy. Despite Nanna’s third-party status, he established himself as a legitimate candidate in 2017 after winning 14 percent of the vote in a five-candidate Delaware City Council race.
Zack Space (Democratic)
A Kenyon graduate, Zack Space ’83 served as the U.S. Representative for Ohio’s 18th District from 2006 to 2011 before joining the law firm of Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease. Now, Space is looking to “hold politicians, the Ohio Department of Education, bad-actor charter schools and their sponsors accountable,” according to his website. Space is also running on the promise to help lead an effort to end gerrymandering.
Keith Faber (Republican)
Currently the State Representative for Ohio’s 84th District, Faber is campaigning on the ideas of job creation and economic development. According to his website, he seeks to make Ohio “more business friendly” by removing regulations and cutting down on personal income taxes and small business taxes. Faber also wants to cut down on government spending and improve government efficiency.
Robert C. Coogan (Libertarian)
As a third-party candidate, Coogan is running as an alternative to what his website describes as “the obvious partisan back and forth between the major parties.” Coogan believes that the three most important issues facing the people of Ohio are efficiency of spending, redistricting and conflicts of interest within the Auditor of State office.
Sherrod Brown (Democrat, Incumbent)
Sherrod Brown defeated two-term Republican incumbent Mike DeWine in the 2006 Senate election, with one of the largest margins over an incumbent in U.S. history, and was re-elected in 2012, running unopposed in the Democratic primary. This year, he is running for a third term. Prior to his position in the Senate, Brown represented Ohio’s 13th District in the House of Representatives and served two terms as Ohio secretary of state.
Brown’s campaign cites various issues and his efforts to address them. To help expand healthcare, for example, Brown helped pass the ACA, which has extended healthcare coverage for five million Ohioans with preexisting conditions. Sherrod protected the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which serves nearly half of Ohio’s children with disabilities, and has worked to pass long-term funding for CHIP. In 2018, he co-sponsored the bill that successfully extended the program for the next six years. From 2015 to 2016, Sherrod ranked fourth on a list of Senators who had passed the most laws.
Jim Renacci (Republican)
Jim Renacci was elected to the House of Representatives in 2010 and is serving his fourth term representing the 16th District of Ohio. He is a former city council president and two-term mayor of Wadsworth, Ohio. Prior to entering the policial world, he owned a nursing home and was a volunteer firefighter.
Renacci comes from a blue-collar union family and, as a Senator, says he “will continue to promote a pro-growth agenda that leaves more money in the pockets of hard-working Americans and business owners,” according to Ballotpedia. He views Medicaid’s expansion as financially unsustainable, and wants to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a “patient-centric, market-based system driven by competition and defined by choice, affordability and access to quality care.” Renacci desribes himself as a pro-life leader and has a 100% Right to Life voting record, according to his campagin website.
Ohio’s 7th Congressional District
Ken Harbaugh (Democrat)
First-time candidate Ken Harbaugh describes himself as a problem-solver rather than a politician. He grew up in a military family, with his father and grandfather serving as Air Force combat pilots, and went on to join the Navy. He advocates for military veterans and recently served as the president of Team Rubicon Global, a nonprofit organization that aims to help veterans transition from military to civilian life by deploying them as emergency first responders.
Harbaugh decided to enter the race after talking to his wife and daughters the morning after President Donald Trump’s victory. He expressed concerns about Trump’s healthcare plan, which Gibbs and other House Republicans voted for, fearing it would worsen Ohio’s opioid crisis by making cuts to Medicaid, according to a June 1 Cleveland.com article. Harbaugh’s campaign focuses on ensuring Ohioans have access to affordable healthcare, providing employment within the state, combating the opioid crisis, upholding a secure retirement for seniors and holding Congress accountable for promises it makes to veterans.
Bob Gibbs (Republican, Incumbent)
Incumbent Bob Gibbs is the current representative from Ohio’s 7th Congressional District and was first elected in 2010. In 2016, he was re-elected to Congress with 64 percent of the vote. In the House, he sits on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the Agriculture Committee. Prior to his position in Congress, Gibbs served in the Ohio House of Representatives from 2003-2008 and was elected to the Ohio State Senate in 2008.
A small business owner who founded Hidden Hollow Farms in 1976, Gibbs began promoting agriculture throughout Ohio, which lead him to become a president of the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation for two terms starting in 1999. He is a strong advocate for private property rights, regulatory and tax reform and the agriculture industry. Gibbs has voted in favor of repealing the ACA and wants a healthcare system that “empowers Americans to take control of their care.” If re-elected, his Four-Point Plan will prioritize “fiscal responsibility,” tax reform, developing domestic natural resources and lessening economic regulations for farmers. Gibbs is a 2017 recipient of Freedom Works’ Freedom Fighter Award and the 2017 Waterways Council Leadership Service Award.
State Senator (District 19)
Louise Valentine (Democrat)
Louise Valentine is running for the Ohio State Senate to represent District 19. As a mother of two, she wants to ensure a better future for families in Ohio. Valentine’s priorities include establishing a fair and effective school funding system, protecting Medicaid expansion and ensuring Ohio families have access to affordable healthcare options and investing in economic development that provides jobs with “livable” wages for Ohioans. She believes that everyone should have opportunities to learn, work and thrive in Ohio now and in the future.
Andrew O. Brenner (Republican)
Andrew Brenner is currently serving his fourth and final term in office as State Representative from the 67th Ohio House district. He supports the Second Amendment and has been working to help small businesses by eliminating the estate tax and decreasing government intervention. He describes himself as pro-life. He was endorsed by Ohio Right to Life and Buckeye Firearms Association. In October 2015, Brenner was appointed Chairman of the Ohio House Education and Career Readiness Committee. In addition to voting on education reforms, he also introduced an expansive bill (HB 102) which considers reforms to educational funding in order to meet the standards set by the Derolph v. State of Ohio case in 1994, and provide equal access to public education for all students.
Gary Cox (Green)
David “Gary” Cox believes that while political experience can be beneficial for state legislators, it is not a required criterion. In his view, people don’t need political experience to know how to better society; it is more important that a legislator puts people first and business second and works to ensure everyone can prosper and grow. Previously, Cox worked as an attorney for 29 years and was also an organic vegetable farmer. As a state senator, he would advocate for sustainable agriculture, increasing the minimum wage to a “living” wage and providing universal healthcare and funding. Cox ran unopposed in the Green primary.
State Representative (Seat 68)
Kathleen A. Tate (Democrat)
Kathleen Tate calls herself an advocate, not a politician. Tate was born in Ohio and entered the Air Force upon graduating high school. After her military service, she began working in electronics in California. She became active in politics as a young adult, lobbying for better legislation for bicycle safety, according to her website.
Tate advocates for more funding for schools, school infrastructure and programs in schools that teach kids basic financial literacy. She says that Ohio needs a better support system for those addicted to opioids, and she supports Issue 1. In addition, she supports a living wage, more autonomy for doctors and protection of Ohio waterways and public lands.
Rick Carfagna (Republican, Incumbent)
Rick Carfagna is the incumbent candidate for State Seat 68, which he has held for one term. Originally from Columbus, Carfagna has approximately ten years of government experience at the state and local level.
On the issue of education, Carfagna is an advocate of “fair funding” — having public schools get at least as much money per student as private schools. Carfagna has also claimed credit for a bill passed by the Ohio State Legislature that has expanded broadband access, which millions in Ohio lack. Regarding the opioid crisis, Carfagna supports sentencing reform but is opposed to Issue 1 because he believes creating a constitutional amendment will make it difficult to change in the future.
Patrick Glasgow (Libertarian)
Patrick Glasgow is a U.S. Navy veteran who moved back to Knox County in 2016. He is the county development coordinator for the Libertarian Party in Knox County as well as the deputy political director for the party at the state level.
In a debate at Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Oct. 4, Glasgow said that power should be returned from the legislature to local school boards. He also said that increasing broadband accessibility should be the job of the free market, not the government. He advocates for a state budget that minimizes spending. He claims that ending the prohibition of marijuana would lead to safer dispensaries and a drop in opioid addiction, and it would end the imprisoning of nonviolent offenders, which would save citizens money. Glasgow is a strong supporter of Issue 1.
Donald Bovinett Jr. (Democrat)
Donald Bovinett Jr. ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. In a debate at Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Oct. 2, he expressed a desire for the council to be more responsive to citizen concerns, saying that the town needed new ways to connect with citizens. He says he would bring a “fresh perspective” to the council, according to KnoxPages. For example, he said the ban on medical marijuana use in the city of Mount Vernon should be revisited.
Bill Pursel (Republican)
A former minister and football coach, Bill Pursel is a Knox County native with experience working with both city and township government; he has been a township trustee in Monroe Township for eight years. At Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Oct. 4, Pursel advocated for better education and more recovery homes as ways to reduce drug addiction in Knox County. He also advocates for county-wide funding of EMS and Knox County Fire services. Additionally, Pursel is campaigning on bringing more healthcare options to Mount Vernon residents; currently, those who are not insured through their place of work have only one option, Medical Mutual, a health insurance company based in Cleveland, Oh. Pursel wants to find ways to give more options to self-employed people.
Also known as the Neighborhood Safety, Drug Treatment, and Rehabilitation Amendment, if approved, this would add a 12th section to Article XV of the Constitution of the State of Ohio. This amendment would primarily change drug penalties: Those caught using or possessing drugs would face misdemeanor charges up to six months in a county jail rather than felony charges. This change would follow in the steps of states like California and Connecticut, though neither of those states went so far as to incorporate the reform in their constitution.
There are two tax levies on the ballot in this election. The first is a replacement levy, the second an additional levy. The first levy would be for the benefit of Knox County Children Services and would update the value of property taxes to 2018 levels. The current levy collects revenue at the 1998 value of property taxes. The Mount Vernon News reported on Aug. 3 that the levy would raise an estimated $1,793,400 for Children Services.
The second levy would add an additional tax for the benefit of College Township’s fire and emergency medical services. If passed, this levy would increase property taxes in College Township by 1.0 mills, or $1 for every $1,000 of valuation, for five years.
Vote on Nov. 6 at 115 Meadow Ln, Gambier, OH 43022 (Gambier Community Center, behind the KAC) 6:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m