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Democrats hear from three area politicians

Three Ohio politicians brought the fight between the middle class and big business to the Logan County Democratic Party’s Monday pre-election dinner.

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Democrat Jim Slone of Elyria, who is running against incumbent Fourth District U.S. Congressman Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, speaks at the Logan County Democratic Party’s dinner Monday. (EXAMINER PHOTO | REUBEN MEES)

Jim Slone, who is looking to unseat Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, in the Fourth District U.S. House of Representative’s race; John Kostyo, who is vying for votes in the northeastern quadrant of Logan County; and Ohio Supreme Court candidate Mike Skindell spoke at the annual event.

Their message tended to agree in belief that the working people of Ohio would be better off with Democrats in the political roles.

“I was raised in an America that said we are going to help Americans,” Mr. Slone told the crowd as he took issue with the current federal minimum wage. “Nobody who works full time should live in poverty. It’s time that we as American citizens take back what the Republicans have taken from us.”

Mr. Slone, a retired auto worker from Elyria who is running in a congressional district that has been redrawn in the past year, said he believes he has a political advantage, not only because of new geographic boundaries, but his philosophy as well.

“I’m running strictly because people are tired of the status quo in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “One of the first and biggest questions I get asked is, ‘Can you go to Congress and break the gridlock, the deadlock in government? Can you help move it along?”

The 65-year-old Democrat described his long history working in conflict management with the United Auto Workers Union while at General Motors.

“I have close to 45 years’ experience dealing with change and conflict resolution,” he said. “I feel good, upbeat and excited about this race. I really believe what people in this area are telling me is that (Rep. Jordan) does not do his job and does answer to them.”

One of the common themes among the speakers was the influence of outside parties like Grover Norquist, whose Taxpayer Protection Pledge was signed by presidential candidate Mitt Romney and other Republican hopefuls.

“The difference between me and my opponent is the very basic idea about what our government is,” said Mr. Kostyo, who is challenging appointed State Rep. Robert Sprague to represent the northeastern Logan County townships of Bokescreek, Rushcreek and Richland.

“The purpose of our government is the people rather than using government as a conduit for business. Because business wouldn’t exist without people. Our values need to go back to people, who should be first,” the Findlay lawyer said. “The only pledge I would ever sign is the Pledge of Allegiance. I would never sign a pledge to Grover Norquist ... a pledge to not raise taxes.”

Mr. Skindell, a 10-year lawmaker and former lawmaker from the Cleveland area who is running for one of three available seats on the Ohio Supreme Court, said the high court needs to consist of a variety of individuals to represent the people of Ohio.

“If the drafters (of the state constitution) thought only one perspective is necessary then they would have created a court with only one justice,” he said, noting the fact that only one Democrat — Alice Roby Resnick — has been elected as supreme court justice since 2000.

He also stated that Republican justices in the recent past have received thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from electricity supplier First Energy while also deciding a case in the utility’s favor.

“It’s unfair and unfit whether you’re Democrat, Republican or independent.”

Logan County Family Court Judge candidate Bridget Hawkins, who is facing appointed judge Dan Bratka in the general election, also spoke briefly during the event, urging voters to select her in the elections.

Election day is Nov. 6, although voters may fill out an absentee voting form and return it to the Logan County Election Board anytime before the evening of Nov. 2.

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