EDITOR'S NOTE: Ohio Lieutenanant Governor and Green resident Mary Taylor, who is one of several officials who have announced their candidacy to become the state's next governor in 2018, sat down recently for an hour with Suburbanite reporter Jim Mesko and answered questions related to her positions and thoughts on various issues. Other declared Republicans include Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted and U.S. 16th District Rep. Jim Renacci. On the Democratic side, declared candidates include Ohio 28th District Rep. Connie Pillich, former Ohio Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni, former U.S. Rep. Betty Sutton and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
WHY ARE YOU RUNNING?
"I believe we have made good progress in Ohio and I would like to build on that progress. There are still many things that need to be done and I believe I can accomplish these as governor. One thing that is important to me is the family. We need to build on our family strength, especially as it relates to multigenerational poverty, to help improve the lives of our children and help them gain a better future."
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE PROBLEMS THAT FACE OHIO?
"We face numerous problems. In education, we need to reform charter schools. We need to restore skills training in schools so that students have more flexibility in the work force. There is the opiate crisis that is facing our state. Health care needs to be revamped.
HOW WOULD YOU DEAL EDUCATION?
"In education, charter schools need to be held more accountable. Parents need to be allowed to pick a school for their children that fits their needs in areas where education is suffering. We need to look at what is being taught in schools and be more flexible as to the skills the students learn. We need to restore this skill training so students have the necessary job skills to succeed when they graduate and go into the job market. We have lost our mind in school testing. We need some sanity restored to the whole process. While teachers need to be held accountable, it must be in a realistic way. And going hand in hand with this, we need high quality teachers to educate our children. And we need to set priorities for where funds are spent.
WHAT ABOUT THE OPIATE CRISIS?
"This is a very complex problem. I have experienced this first hand with the problems that my sons have had, so it has a very special meaning to me. We need to shut down the flow of drugs into the state, working in conjunction with the federal government. We need to get the drug dealers off the streets and place restrictions on prescriptions being written that are far in excess of a patient's needs. We should look at creating an organization like Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD) because of the effective campaign they have run to deal with that problem"
WHAT ABOUT HEALTH CARE?
"We need to repeal Obama Care. People need to be given a choice using the market principal approach. People need to be given options in a multi-prong solution. We need to look at high risk pools and provide help for those people. We need to go back to the traditional Medicaid formula, but also offer different solutions to deal with what has been added since the beginning of the program."
WHAT ABOUT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND OHIO?
"I want to have a good working relationship with Washington and focus on issues. I had an opportunity to meet President Trump briefly once we got along fine. As governor, I would want to have a good relationship with him. A good example or working with the government is the pipeline. It comes under the EPA and all decisions are Federal. We need to work with them on the issues of the environment and safety, but ultimately they will make the decisions in such matters."