Video included below
Each of the two candidates looking to unseat the incumbent in Ohio’s 1st Senate District made their pitch to voters.
Ohio’s 1st Senate District candidate Corey Shankleton speaks during Wednesday's debate while Milo Schaffner looks on. (EXAMINER PHOTO)
The winner of a May 6 primary among Corey Shankleton, Milo Schaffner and incumbent Sen. Cliff Hite of Findlay will represent the townships of Richland, Rushcreek and Bokescreek in Logan County, as well as parts of Auglaize and Fulton counties and all of Defiance, Hancock, Hardin, Henry, Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert and Williams counties.
Corey Shankleton of Williams County has been pastor of a church for 15 years and says he knows what it takes to back up talk with actions.
Milo Schaffner of Van Wert County boasts a deep knowledge of how government works, and has been active in championing legislation that aims to roll back some of the impending energy efficiency rules.
Both men have said Sen. Cliff Hite has lost touch with the conservative constituency he was sent to represent in Columbus.
Having declined the invitation to attend, Sen. Hite was unable to defend himself against charges that he’s a politician increasingly beholden to government bureaucracy.
Mr. Shankleton spoke of abortion legislation circulating the state government that would tighten abortion regulations. He accused Sen. Hite of wavering on that issue, and promised that he would stay committed to making abortion illegal.
Mr. Schaffner is a township trustee and former school board member. He’s also done extensive research on energy issues, he said, and spoke of specific legislation in the state senate that would ease the burden of businesses taxed through excess energy and environmental regulations.
Both men agreed that state legislators, Sen. Hite specifically, are growing state government at the expense of local government funding that helps keep the state strong.
Mr. Shankleton noted consistent dependency on federal government funding, from items ranging from Medicaid expansion to Common Core curriculum. Nearly 40 percent of state funding comes from the federal government, he said.