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The Suburbanite
  • Two first-time candidates challenge Schuring

  • Two first-time candidates have opted to challenge longtime legislator Kirk Schuring in his bid for another term in the Ohio House.

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  • Two first-time candidates have opted to challenge longtime legislator Kirk Schuring in his bid for another term in the Ohio House.
    Schuring, a Republican from Jackson Township, has held a seat at the Statehouse in Columbus since 1993. He started out in the Ohio House of Representatives and in 2003 switched to the Ohio Senate because of the state’s term limit laws. In 2010, Schuring and state Sen. Scott Oelslager switched seats again, with Schuring returning to the House.
    Challenging Schuring for the chance to represent Ohio’s 48th House District are Democrat Amanda Trump and Libertarian John M. Deagan.
    Deagan leads the Libertarian Party in Stark County and admits he entered the race because he couldn’t find another candidate to challenge Schuring. “I’m excited to at least have a conversation about the role of government in our lives,” he said.
    Trump said she is concerned about “destructive policies” coming out of Columbus. She cited cuts in local government funding and Senate Bill 5, which was an attempt to change collective bargaining rules for state and municipal government employees.
    All three candidates believe that jobs and the economy are the key issues in this election.
    A vibrant economy is the well spring that feeds everything else, Schuring said. A good economy generates the taxes that pay for parks and schools and municipal operations, he said.
    Trump said she believes taking steps to strengthen the middle class will help strengthen the economy.
    Schuring and Trump agreed that government needs to take steps to encourage businesses to come to Ohio and stay here. Government can help by ensuring that infrastructure — roads, railway systems, high speed Internet — is in good shape and the workforce is trained and ready for jobs, they said.
    Deagan countered that government needs to stay out of the way and reduce regulations that can stifle business development.
    Growing interest in drilling for oil and natural gas in the Utica shale could boost the economy, but drilling must be done without damaging the area’s water supply, Deagan said. “I think Ohio is poised for a boom,” he said.
    The candidates also are concerned about the state’s changes for distributing local government funds. The amount of money coming from Columbus to local communities has been cut in the last two state budgets.
    Schuring said he has drafted a bill to create a local government bridge fund to help communities that have seen local government funds cut by more than 5 percent. Communities must show how the bridge money will be used and how they will become self sufficient in the future.
    Deagan said that he believes taxes dollars are best used in the local communities. He sees an “upside down triangle” with too much money leaving the area for Washington, D.C. and Columbus, and local communities forced to beg for tax dollars.
    Page 2 of 2 - Trump said resolving the state’s ongoing school funding dispute is another top issue. Providing children with a free, equitable and adequate education that helps them grow is important, she said.