PIQUA — Community members filled the YWCA Piqua Wednesday night for this year’s Meet The Candidates Event. The public forum, organized by the YWCA Public Policy Committee, was an opportunity to hear the local issues and meet the candidates in the upcoming November election. Nancy McMaken served as the event moderator.
There was a variety of candidates on hand to explain their positions while running for office. Candidates included Congressman Warren Davidson, who has been serving the district for the last two years and spoke about what he had campaigned on. “We talked about growing the economy and the results have been tremendous. More than most anyone believed was possible, the normal was 1.5 percent growth and the reality is we are growing at more than 3 percent, as promised.”
Dr. Vanessa Enoch, a Democrat, was also present and is running against Davidson for the U.S. Representative 8th Congressional District. Enoch explained how she can identify with many people in the region. “As a single mom, I understand what it’s like for many of you who have struggled to make ends meet and have been challenged by some of the legislation that has come down from this administration.”
Democratic candidate D.J. Byrnes, who is running for state representative of the 80th House District said about his decision to run, “I joined this race in July because as an avid follower of state politics, I can no longer stay on the sidelines as privileged politicians reward their corporate cronies at the expense of the working people. You deserve honest representation that understands everyday problems and tonight I would like to offer you that choice.”
His opponent, Republican Jena Powell, explained what she plans to focus on if elected. “I am running for state representative because I am tired of what’s happening in government. If elected, I will fight for life, from conception to natural death. I’ll protect the Second Amendment and I will work tirelessly to cut taxes and reduce regulations.”
Running for the Ohio Senate, Democrat Paul Bradley said, “The core beliefs that we carry, whether as a Republican or a Democrat, are very similar in the sense of let’s have good schools for our kids, let’s have good jobs with good wages for everybody, let’s make sure we keep our neighborhood safe. Let’s do the things that make government an effective part of our community. And I think when we focus on those issues, it matters less whether you have an ‘R’ or ‘D’ next to your name. It matters what you’re going to get done for your community.”
Sen. Stephen Huffman, who is defending his seat, spoke about the importance of education. “I believe education is where we need to start, especially at a young age, to give kids the advantage to go long in life.”
Huffman, also a doctor, talked about the opioid epidemic. “When I was county coroner, I was in houses, pulling heroin needles out of people’s arms and talking to their families.”
The only local issue on the ballot this election is the Forest Hill Cemetery renewal with an increase and superintendent Jim Roth was on hand to explain what that increase would be used for at the cemetery. “We are in desperate need to increase the number of burial spaces for folks to come in. We are getting to the point where we are very limited in that availability. So we need to add another section, but in order to add another section, we have to have a way to pay for it.”
The last part of the evening was written questions that were submitted from the audience and asked by the moderator. These questions ranged from where the candidates stood on Issue 1 to additional cemetery questions.
Rachel Hensley is a freelance writer for the Piqua Daily Call and Troy Daily News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.