Three seek to represent Crawford County in Congress | Local Elections

CRAWFORD COUNTY — Crawford County voters have three choices on Nov. 3 to represent them in the U.S. Congress.

Incumbent Republican Jim Jordan from Urbana, Democrat Shannon Freshour from Marysville and Libertarian Steve Perkins from Pataskala all seek to represent Ohio’s 4th Congressional District in Washington, D.C.

The sprawling, twisting district includes Allen, Auglaize, Shelby, Logan, Champaign, Union, Crawford, Seneca and Sandusky counties, and parts of Huron, Erie, Lorain, Mercer and Marion counties.

Here is a look at all three, as well as other races/issues on the ballot in Crawford County:

Jim Jordan

The 56-year-old Jordan has represented the 4th District since 2007 and was re-elected with more than 65 percent of the vote in 2018.

A former collegiate wrestler and college wrestling coach, Jordan was the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee from January 2019 to March 2020. He vacated that position to become the ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee. An outspoken and close ally of President Trump, Jordan helped found the Freedom Caucus and chaired the caucus from its establishment in 2015 until 2017.

Jordan said his his votes to repeal programs like the Affordable Care Act and reduce the numbers of people who participate in programs like food stamps are responsible efforts to reduce government spending, promote fiscal accountability and eliminate redundancy in government agencies.

During congressional committee hearings, Jordan said he strives to expose waste, fraud and abuse.

Jordan earned a master’s degree in education from The Ohio State University in Columbus and obtained a law degree from Capital University Law School, though he never sat for the bar examination.

Shannon Freshour

The 46-year-old Freshour said she decided to run for Congress to fight for priorities she believes Jordan and the Trump administration have undermined.

She has criticized Jordan’s support for Trump budget plans that would cut Social Security disability benefits, Medicare and Medicaid. She said Jordan doesn’t fight to protect workers, or ensure schools have funds needed to teach, or protect farmers suffering because of Trump’s trade wars.

Freshour said she is a civil litigation paralegal who postponed entry into a doctoral program in transnational organized crime and justice policy to run for Congress.

She said her background as an advocate making sure legal clients were properly compensated for injuries helps her understand how constituent services should operate.

She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and art history at Trinity College in Washington, D.C., and a master’s degree in American government at Johns Hopkins University.

Steve Perkins

Perkins, a 44-year-old automotive technical trainer, told the Celina Daily Standard he is running to give voters a choice between the two major parties.

“Democrats and Republicans like to argue over who gets to tell you what to do,” said Perkins, who earned a bachelor of arts degree from Bowling Green State University.

He has taught high school, private college, the automotive industry and is a highly skilled automotive technician specializing in advanced electrical diagnostics and programming, according to his website, and he is a lifetime member of the Libertarian Party.

Perkins said neither of the two major parties practice fiscal responsibility. He said elected officials fight “tooth and nail for the ability to tell you how to live, while not having to live under their own edicts, and forcing you to pay for it all or worse yet, financing it at your grandchildren’s expense.”

Perkins said he believes in term limits and would serve no more than eight years in Washington. 

Other contested races on the Crawford County ballot:

Ohio Senate 26th District

Republican Bill Reineke, a Tiffin resident, is running against Democrat Craig Swartz, a Democrat from Upper Sandusky, to replace Sen. Dave Burke, R-Marysville, who is leaving because of term limits.

The 26th District covers Sandusky, Seneca, Wyandot, Crawford, Morrow, Marion, and Union counties.

A member of the Ohio House, Reineke has represented Sandusky and Seneca counties in Columbus since 2014. A native of Fostoria, Reineke has lived in Tiffin for 35 years and is a member of a family that owns a chain of auto dealerships.

The 66-year-old attended Morehead State University and earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration.

“Since becoming a state representative in 2015, I have fought for conservative principles in the legislature. I have voted 100 percent pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment. I believe that government needs to get out of the way in order to allow businesses and people to flourish. As a legislator, I have cut taxes, balanced budgets, and slashed burdensome regulations,” Reineke said.

Swartz earned a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. He also studied at Schiller International University. Swartz’s career experience includes working as an international legal assistant, international legal advisor, restaurant owner, writer, factory worker, insurance agent, and realtor.

“I am a 62-year-old baby boomer who wants to present a vision on how Ohio can get ready for the next generation economy we’re going to need in this state if we want to continue to provide a healthy and productive environment for our residents in the years to come,” Swartz said.

“I wish to present to voters a range of ideas my campaign will feature this election season that are largely gathered over a lifetime of experience. 

“In the early part of my adult life, I lived and worked on three different continents and traveled throughout Europe and the Middle East. During the last 20 years, I have lived and worked in Northwest Ohio performing a multitude of different tasks; including restaurant ownership, warehousing, truck driving, substitute teaching, selling credit card processing, insurance and real estate,” Swartz said.

State House of Representatives 87th District

The race is between incumbent Republican Riordan McClain against Democratic challenger Nicholas Barnes, both from Upper Sandusky.

The district includes Wyandot, Crawford, and Morrow counties, as well as portions of Marion and Seneca counties.

McClain, 37, is currently serving his first full term in the Ohio House of Representatives, earning 72 percent of the vote in the 2018 general  election. A lifelong resident of Wyandot County, McClain attended Bluffton University, where he received his bachelor’s degree before going to earn an MBA from the University of Findlay.

McClain worked for a marketing and data analytics company. In 2013, he joined a startup, which led to the successful business of Doc Investments LLC, which most notably operates SD Bullion, a precious metals retailer.

“Everything I do is for my neighbors throughout District 87. I want to use my experience, skills, and passion to represent us well. I will always listen, always fight for our shared values, and always remain focused on what is right for us,” McClain said on his campaign website.

The 49-year-old Barnes’ professional experience includes working as a food truck owner and operator. He earned a bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University in 1994.

Barnes maintains he is not a politician. In an op-ed for the Tiffin Advertiser Tribune, he wrote, “My primary motivations (for seeking office) are to increase transparency in our state legislature, to put an end to lobbyist and corporate influence, and to break the two-party stranglehold that corrupts our governance and discourse.

“I believe that only when we address these foundational issues can we create the type of government our nation’s founders envisioned — one that is truly of, by, and for the people,” Barnes wrote.

Crawford County Probate/Juvenile Court

The race features no elected incumbent.

Patrick T. Murphy, a Republican from Tiro was appointed to the bench by Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine after the death of longtime judge, Democrat Steven Eckstein, in March. Eckstein had been prevented from running this fall because of the state’s age restriction.

Murphy, who had a longtime private legal practice in Bucyrus, assumed office June 8.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University and his law degree from the University of Toledo.

Murphy’s opponent is Debra A. Garverick, a Democrat from Galion.

Garverick attended Ohio Northern University for both undergraduate studies and law school, graduating in 1983.

She has had a private law practice for 37 years, focused on probate court and real estate.

Tax issues

— Galion City Schools is asking voter approval to renew a five-year, 7.73-mill property tax level for operating expenses.

— The Village of Chatfield seeks the renewal of a five-year, 5-mill property tax level for operating expenses.

— Auburn Township seeks the renewal of a five-year, 3-mill property tax levy for fire department/EMS services.

— Bucyrus Township seeks the renewal of a five-year, 1-mill property tax levy for operating expenses.

— Holmes Township seeks an additional two-year, 1.75-mill property tax levy for fire protection/EMS services.

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