It has been 10 years since I served most of the communities in what is now the Ohio House of Representatives District 36. The district includes Cuyahoga Falls, Tallmadge, Green, Springfield, Mogadore, Lakemore and Coventry.

Since my time in the House, Republicans have won the seat every election because, more often than not, the Democratic candidate had no elected office experience and went up against an experienced Republican candidate. As Democrats, we can’t make the same mistake and expect a different result.

To win this seat in November, we need to advance Matt Shaughnessy, the only Democratic candidate with elected office experience as well as more than 25 years of public service experience as a policeman and firefighter.

I served with Matt on Green City Council, and this much I know: He puts people first. Matt held firm with the people in opposition to Green’s Republican mayor, a majority of Green City Council and a well-funded political action committee that tried to silence the people’s voice about whether Green should have an elected law director.

He helped his constituents collect signatures by going door to door, helped them count and double-check the signatures and walked side by side with them into City Hall to make sure their petitions were accepted and counted. And yes, the people won. Last November, they chose the first elected law director.

Matt Shaughnessy gives us Democrats our best shot at winning because he has a proven track record of getting things done for the people, as well as protecting our communities as a policeman and firefighter.

Voters are tired of people offering promises they’ll never be able to keep. Vote for Matt Shaughnessy, send him to Columbus to work and fight for you, and let’s turn this seat “blue” again.