Last updated: April 25. 2014 7:19PM - 662 Views
By Melanie Yingst

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Melanie Yingst

Staff Writer

MIAMI COUNTY - A large crowd gathered to hear from the many candidates running for office in the May 6 primary election at Leadership Troy’s annual Meet the Candidates at Troy Junior High on Thursday.

Both Republican candidates for Common Pleas Court Judge stated their cases for the position and what they’d like to do about the drug problem in Miami County.

Jeannine Pratt, an assistant prosecuting attorney, said she would fight the drug problem with the full force of the law behind it.

Pratt also said she would support programs which support marriage and families and the children who are affected by the court system.

In her closing statements, Pratt said, “Miami County deserves a judge who is a true conservative and a person who is going to make them proud.”

Candidate for common pleas judge Stacy Wall said she would support the current system of guardian et litems, parenting classes and other domestic relations as part of her court rule if she was elected.

Wall also state she would work with the community and Judge Gee’s drug court to decrease the county’s rising drug issues with her current contacts as the city of Piqua’s law director.

Current Miami County Commissioner John O’Brien and challenger Gregory Simmons made their pleas on why they’d be the best Republican candidate for Miami County Commissioner on May 6.

Simmons said he is concerned with wasteful spending at the county level and the unfair bid process in the commission’s recent years.

Simmons said his bid for county commissioner is simple which is to bring integrity back to the county level as commissioner.

“I think it’s time for a change n the Miami County Commissioner’s Office,” Simmons said, noting he would take the quarter percent income tax to the voters to consider. The tax is slated to end this year.

O’Brien said with his business experience and dedication to the county which has voted him as a commissioner two times, he will not let the Miami County citizens.

“I honestly believe I’m the best person and I have diversity and I have so much more to do,” O’Brien said in his closing remarks.

With an open seat waiting after Representative Richard Adams retires at the end of his term this year, Stephen Huffman, Joe LeMaster and Mark Williams shared why they would be the best fit for the state representative for the 80th district which include all of Miami County and southern Darke County.

Williams said he believes in local control in regards to education.

“Parents and teacher, not politicians and bureaucrats, need to be making decision on how our schools are run,” Williams said.

“I believe in the citizen legislature, not laws and regulations,” Williams aid. “I believe in the idea that all men were created equal and I think it’s the defense of these ideas.”

On education, LeMaster said he believes the educational system needs to change its mentality that all students need to go to college to be successful.

“We need to teach the kids, it is not a bad word to work for a living,” LeMaster said.

In his closing remarks, LeMaster said he would serve the people in the district with a “pastor’s heart.”

“I’ll be looking to try to help people so they have the opportunity to make themselves better,” LeMaster said.

Huffman said although college isn’t for everybody, education should provide direction, “so they can be prepared.”

In his closing remarks, Huffman said the reason he is running for office is because of his three children and his wife.

“I fear for the future,” he said. “It’s for their future that we need to put Ohio on the right track because I think the best days are still ahead of us.”

 Ohio Senate, 5th District: Dee Gillis, Joe Lacey, and Tom Matthew also attended the Meet the Candidates Night. U.S. Congress, 8th District Candidates Matthew Guyette (D) Eric Gurr (R), and J.D. Winteregg (R) attended the forum. Current Republican and Speaker of the House John Boehner was not in attendance.

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