Two Democratic candidates will square off to see who will face Republican Nathan Burd in the race for the 20th District Ohio House of Representatives seat next fall.
Democratic voters will choose between Heather Bishoff of Blacklick and Marco Miller of Canal Winchester in the March 6 primary election.
The Canal Winchester, Groveport, Reynoldsburg, Truro Township and Madison Township areas previously were in the 19th Ohio House District. However, with recent redistricting, these communities are now in the 20th District, which extends from southeastern to northeastern Franklin County.
Bishoff is co-owner of the Bishoff Financial Group and a member of the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education. She holds bachelors degree in finance from Franklin University and is a veteran of the United States Army. She was Ohio Soldier of the Year in 1996 and earned the Army Accommodation Medal. Shes active as a Scout leader, coach and PTO officer.
Miller is a veteran of the United States Air Force and served in Vietnam. He was also a firefighter for 25 years. He holds a bachelors degree in public administration from Capital University. He served on the Groveport Madison Board of Education from 1993-97, was Democratic Central Committee Leader, and was president of the International Association of Firefighters Local 67.
The Messenger recently interviewed the candidates.
Reasons for running
Bishoff:Theres been a lot of extreme legislation, such as Senate Bill 5, thrown from the Statehouse at the voters. I thought it was time to stand up and do something about it. Most voters are moderate, like me. Im a fiscal conservative and moderate on social issues. I will reach across the aisle. Its time to bring civility and balance to the Statehouse.
Miller:There are many issues facing our community. We need to create and retain jobs and ensure access to adequate and affordable healthcare. We need safe neighborhoods and to make sure veterans receive benefits and medical care they are entitled to. After seeing the governor and legislature put the middle and working classes under attack this past year, I decided to run to be a strong voice for our community.
Views on public school funding
Bishoff:Schools need support and I dont mean by just raising taxes. We need to develop alternatives and find ways to diversify the revenue streams to schools. We have to get innovative and find options that fit each community rather than using the same old approaches. We need to find a non-partisan, mixed approach.
Miller:A funding formula needs to be found that is fair and provides all students with an excellent education. We need to end the over reliance on property taxes. I will work with experts and other leaders to help find the best funding solution for students and our taxpayers.
Views on local economy
Bishoff:Im a small business owner myself. We need to help streamline the bureaucracy and mountains of reports that small business owners face. I want to make it easier for them to do business. We need to help businesses make a living and be able to give back to the community rather than spending so much time on bureaucratic paperwork.
Miller:To help increase job creation in our community, more funding needs to be provided for workforce training programs to ensure we have the skilled workers companies are looking for and provide assistance to small businesses to allow them to grow and succeed.
Views on local government funding
Bishoff:I want to help local leaders increase jobs in the area. I want to open up state grant funding to communities. Were all trying to recover from the rough economy. There must be a prioritization of funding for jobs and education. I also believe that local governments should maintain control over the collection of their local property taxes.
Miller:If I am elected, we will be facing the next biennial budget shortly after taking office, I would oppose any efforts to further cut funding and work to find funding sources to restore funding that was cut to local governments in the budget passed last year. Local governments provide many important services to our citizens. Unfortunately, the legislature passed the hard work of balancing the tight budget on to our local governments by cutting their funding instead of working together at the state level.
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