Oct. 13 – There isn’t much of a similarity politically between Ohio Rep. Sara Carruthers and her challenger Sam Lawrence, but they agree on how they will approach representing the newly-created 47th District. redesigned.
Whatever they do, they believe will benefit Ohio.
Going forward, the policies and issues they tackle while representing the district that represents the cities of Hamilton and Oxford and the townships of Hanover, Fairfield, Reily and Oxford will be very different.
Carruthers, a Republican from Hamilton, will address what she addressed during her first two terms in the Statehouse, which includes the reintroduction of House Bill 3, known as Aisha’s Law.
If House Bill 3 doesn’t pass the Senate in the lame post-election General Assembly session, if elected, that will be her top priority along with her co-sponsor, Rep. Janine Boyd, D-Cleveland Heights. She would also tackle the economy and issues that support what she calls Ohio’s “most vulnerable” women and children.
“When it’s going well, and often it’s going well – you don’t hear so much about it – I love what I do and I love the people,” she said.
As for the economy, she would like to see tax cuts for women with children and tax cuts for IVF, which she said she has experienced. “The cost is prohibitive. If you’re trying to have a child these days, it’s so expensive, and when you have a child, it’s expensive.”
She would also like to look at the costs of birth control “because I’m a big believer in birth control.”
Carruthers said it was also important to meet the needs of Ohio’s aging population.
“Ohio is an aging state, and we need to take care of our aging, because it will be all of us,” she said. “I really think our standard, we’re really lucky to have some of the nursing homes here (in Butler County), but not all areas (of Ohio) are blessed. We need to improve their standards, and I think it’s quality over money issues.”
The two-term lawmaker in November 2021 introduced a bill that would allocate $300 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding to Ohio nursing facilities. Shortly after Carruthers’ bill was introduced, she received $52,000 in campaign donations from people connected to nursing homes.
Political opponents said it was another sign of corruption in Ohio, but Carruthers said the matter was investigated as she handed over phone messages, emails and calendar records, which she said showed no connection to those donors.
I had no private meetings, no private texts. No bribery,” Carruthers said.
This legislation earmarking $300 million in ARPA funds for nursing homes was rolled into a larger federal pandemic relief bill of $4.18 billion.
While Lawrence criticized Carruthers for the donations, he said his number one would be to fight corruption, particularly the fallout from the House Bill 6 scandal, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office said was the bribery program of 61 million dollars was the largest case of public corruption in Ohio history.
Lawrence, a Democrat, believes that House Bill 6 “is just a small piece” of corruption in Ohio politics in Columbus.
As a 19-year-old University of Miami political science student, Lawrence said he wanted to make a difference in his home country.
“I decided to run because I see a lot of these issues happening, and not just in the federal realm, but in the Statehouse,” said the Toledo native, now an Oxford resident. “I paid close attention to politics very early (in his life), and realized that a lot of those decisions really affect our lives; I think that’s something that people my age don’t understand. really not much.”
But now, he says, people of his generation, Gen Z, are getting involved. They may not present themselves as him, but they are involved in community activism and civic engagement.
While corruption is a major issue for Lawrence, the first thing he said he would work on is his environmental policy, “something almost 100% of young people can agree on”.
There is less agreement with those in older generations, he said, but added that “this is an urgent crisis that needs to be addressed now”.
“It starts with clean energy programs, which start with wind and solar developments that create well-paying jobs and which, in turn, would boost our economy,” Lawrence said. “But it seems the Republican supermajority hasn’t been in favor of clean energy, and that goes back to the House Bill 6 scandal.”
Democrats running for a Statehouse seat, Lawrence said, are also running behind U.S. Representative Tim Ryan’s Workers-First campaign, the U.S. Senate nominee. He said tax cuts should be given to workers, “not corporations and extremely wealthy people”.
But how would he do that by entering what will likely remain a Republican supermajority in the Ohio House?
“Common sense,” he said. “We have our differences, but there are common sense things we can work on. Honestly, I don’t know what bills (Republicans) are going to introduce, but I’m not going to be completely loyal to any party. I’m going to work with anyone who wants to do good things for the people of Ohio.”
47th HOME DISTRICT DEBATE
Candidates Sara Carruthers (R) and Sam Lawrence (D) will take part in a debate organized by the University of Miami, the Journal-News and the League of Women Voters of Oxford.
The debate will be online via Zoom at 6:30 p.m. on October 13. To access and pre-register, visit: https://tinyurl.com/y8m69n6k.
The general election in Ohio begins in earnest on October 12 when early voting begins. Ohioans can register to vote online until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 11 if they want to participate in an election where people will decide races that include U.S. Senate, Ohio Governor, the Ohio House and Senate, as well as local decision. portfolio issues and charter amendments.
October 11: Last day to register to vote
October 12: start of advance voting (postal ballots requested before October 12 will be sent)
Oct. 29, Nov. 5 and 6: The only weekend days for early office voting in all Ohio Boards of Elections.
November 7: Last day for early voting, which ends at 2 p.m.
November 8: Election Day runs from 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., and anyone in line when the polls close will be allowed to vote