Three area residents are vying for the 80th District State Representative seat currently occupied by Dr. Richard Adams, who is retiring at the end of his term this year.
Candidates include Steve Huffman, local physician and Miami County Coroner; Mark Williams, a local business owner and operator; and Joe LeMaster, a pastor of a congregation located in Darke County.
Family: Married for 22 years to Kathryn Huffman and five children
Occupation: Emergency room physician
Previous Political Experience: Miami County Coroner, 2013 to present
Qualifications: Bachelor of arts degree, University of Toledo, 1987 and 1988; Medical College of Ohio, 1992; Premier Physician Services Board of Directors, 2001 to present
Reasons for seeking office: I am running for office because I want to make Ohio and our communities more attractive to employers to stimulate job growth, to make sure our schools receive their fair share of the state’s education dollars and that they are spent in the our classrooms. I also want to use my unique experience as a physician to find common sense answers to our complicated health care system and our State’s escalating Medicaid and Medicare costs.
Goals for office if elected: Government is too big and inefficient at every level. I want to go to Columbus to slow the growth of government, make it work more efficiently, and to hold the people spending the tax dollars accountable to the citizens paying the taxes.
What do you see as the greatest need to be addressed in the position you seek?: We need to decrease the tax burden on the citizens of Ohio to help drive our economy, attract business, and produce jobs.
MARK E. WILLIAMS
Family: My wife is Jessica Williams and we have three children ages 8, 6 and 3. We are also foster parents for Miami County so we have two more children, ages 2 and 5 months.
Occupation: I’m the director of Training, Marketing, Administrative Support, Research, IT, and Client Development, and any other position that is needed at my father-in-law’s small family business. The company is a structural engineering firm called Safety Through Engineering.
Previous Political Experience: None
Qualifications: Bachelor of science in applied communications, Asbury College; Air Force Reserve Officer Training Course, University of Kentucky, U.S. Air Force Captain
Reason for seeking office: I love America. I love that we recognize that individual liberty and inalienable rights are granted to people by their Creator. I love that to protect the sovereignty of the states and the diversity of our people, the nation was slow in forming the federal government.
It is my firm belief the federal government gains its authority through the concessions of the States, and the States are empowered through the will of their citizens. It is in the counties, the cities, and the townships where the accountability for our government starts.
We need to hold our legislators accountable, increase transparency, and ensure efficiency within the State. I’m running because of a deep sense of duty to my family and friends. I served in the military to do my part in protecting liberty and freedom, and as a state representative I plan to do the same.
Goals for office if elected: Jobs: Businesses are stifled by overbearing regulations and a confusing tax code, costing us jobs. Governments don’t create jobs; businesses do. To help keep our current jobs and attract new ones, we need to remove the government’s bureaucratic obstacles to growth and make the cost of doing business in Ohio lower than comparable costs in neighboring states.
Education: Parents and teachers, not politicians and bureaucrats, must have the greatest input into our state’s educational policies. Local control and school choice is the solution for our education system. Common Core sets mediocre standards for America that are untested and developed without the input of local educators. I’m concerned with the cost of implementation, the required technology that isn’t in place, and the data mining on students. I will join the fight to repeal Common Core, and will seek a solution with higher standards, increased school choice, and greater local control.
Taxes: We are getting less bang for our buck each year from the government. Our average state spending is increasing more than 6 percent each year. The state needs to reign in pet projects to cut spending and keep our tax burden down. I will fight for transparency and accountability in Columbus and I will support reducing taxes and simplifying the tax code.
The sanctity of human life: All human life is sacred and begins at fertilization. As a society we believe it is immoral and illegal to directly attack an innocent human life. With these guiding principles, I will vote to protect the most vulnerable members of our society.
What do you see as the greatest need to be addressed in the position you seek?: As a businessman helping to keep the family’s small business running, I understand that many of the issues and policies we need to work on will result in one thing, Jobs. We need to stop over regulation and increase the freedom of businesses to create jobs and a more vibrant economy jobs.
Family: Married to Sue; three children; two grandchildren and one due in September
Previous political experience: None
Qualifications: Twenty-plus years in the United States Navy — my highest rank was Senior Chief Petty Officer. Over the course of my Naval service, I was placed in positions of authority far exceeding my pay grade. I planned, organized, controlled, and supervised the Administrative Department of a Naval Air Station and supported 40 tenant commands. I hired civilian employees, trained personnel, approved requests, signed time cards, wrote evaluations, supervised both military and civilian personnel, and supervised the disbursement and accounting of multimillion dollar accounts. As Squadron Duty Officer stationed in Sicily, I was responsible for making emergency decisions and carrying out the command’s daily routine in the absence of the commanding officer. During this time, many Mediterranean events occurred including the bombing of the Marine Corps barracks in Beirut, bombing in Libya, and the hostage situation involving the MS Achille Lauro, in which the intercepted plane carrying the terrorists was forced to land at the base where my Command was attached.
One year as employment and training specialist — I developed jobs and job training opportunities for veterans through employer contacts and maintained liaison with employers during the veteran’s training period. I consulted and coordinated with other appropriate representatives of the federal, state and local programs for the purpose of developing maximum linkages to promote employment opportunities for and provide maximum employment assistance to veterans.
Twenty years in pastoral ministry — Sharing the lives of my congregation/community with associated problems that normal people struggle with on a daily basis. I am the overseer of the church and its myriad difficulties (financial/physical/spiritual) as we deal with the restrictions and regulations that an overbearing government has levied against the people of Ohio and the nation.
Reason for seeking office: To defend and support the Constitutions of the United States and Ohio by leading others on the implementation of the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which states, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
Goals for office if elected: To eliminate the Ohio Personal Income Tax and to protect Ohio citizens from the over-reaching federal government by constructing bills that will implement the 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
What do you see as the greatest need to be addressed in the position you seek?: Nearly every problem that we face deals with the over-reach control of the federal government. When we minimize the impact of the Federal government and its associated agencies, we will become a more prosperous and free sovereign state.