LIMA — State Rep. Keith Faber, R-Celina, renewed old acquaintances Friday as the guest speaker at the Allen County Republican Party’s monthly luncheon.
A one-time state senator and senate president whose former district included Allen County, Faber currently represents the 84th House district, which includes Mercer County as well as portions of Auglaize, Darke and Shelby counties at the Statehouse.
Faber is an announced candidate for the state auditor’s seat that will be decided in November 2018 and spent a portion of his talk Friday at the Lima Eagles aerie talking about the responsibilities of that office.
The state auditor is responsible for auditing public bodies, investigating fraud in public agencies, and providing financial services to local governments, among other duties.
“The state auditor does not collect taxes or evaluate properties. The auditor is the state’s compliance officer and takes care of checks and balances for you, the people,” Faber told the GOP faithful. “Throughout my career I’ve tried to ensure that government worked as efficiently and transparently as possible and, basically, that is what the state auditor does.”
Faber said the state legislature has also authorized the auditor to perform “performance audits” to help ensure county auditor’s offices across the state are working as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Unfortunately, for the most part government operates the same way it did 50 years ago,” Faber said. “Now we have an opportunity to fix that. We need that efficiency on all levels. We can do better.”
Term-limited GOP incumbent Dave Yost is running for attorney general.
Faber also touched briefly on a Ohio ballot initiative that would allow the state to buy prescription drugs at the lowest price that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs pays for those drugs. The VA gets big discounts on drugs for a variety of reasons, deeper discounts than the state receives for the same drug in some cases.
Faber said out-of-state interests have placed the initiative, known as Issue 2, on the ballot.
“Even the veterans’ groups say this is a bad idea. And my attitude is that anyone who can buy a spot on the Ohio ballot is a ‘no.’ I’m a ‘no’ vote and I’ve been pretty consistent on that,” the GOP lawmaker said.
Faber wrapped up his talk by urging Republicans to weather the storm of criticism directed at President Donald Trump and remain true to their conservative values.
“The liberal agenda is to take back what they lost last November. They will try to make you afraid to call yourself a Republican,” Faber said. “As many of you know, I was a Trump state co-chairman. And while I do not agree with 100 percent of what Trump does, I support him because he’s trying to do what he promised voters he would do.”
Faber also urged his counterparts in the U.S. Congress to “pass tax reform — preferably this year. If they don’t, shame on them.”