KALIDA — Democrats from various area counties attended a rally event Tuesday at Kalida’s Knights of Columbus Hall, a joint effort between the Democratic Parties from five different counties; Paulding, Putnam, Van Wert, Fulton and Defiance.
The event, “Let’s Get Fired Up For Ohio Democrats,” brought Democratic congressional and state-level candidates, as well as three gubernatorial candidates, together with Democratic voters from each of the participating counties as well as Auglaize County, according to event coordinator and Dupont Mayor Robert Heidenescher.
Paulding County resident Aden Baker is running for the 82nd District seat in the Ohio House of Representatives. The 17-year-old attends school at Wayne Trace High School in Haviland and is turning 18 in April, right before the primary election, he said. He’s also the youngest Democratic committee member in the state. He said he made some calls to possible candidates looking for someone planning to run for the seat, and when it became clear there was not going to be a Democratic candidate, he decided to step up.
“The biggest thing for me, personally, is the opiate epidemic,” he said. “When you look at the numbers, it’s a major issue, especially for kids my age.”
He said the state government needs to work more closely with local authorities to finally bring the problem to an end. Another issue Baker is passionate about is education, saying the state’s dependence on standardized testing needs to change.
“I’ve been in the classroom while our state has fallen from 3rd in the nation for education to 23rd in the nation,” he said. “Testing is not the same as teaching.”
J. Michael Galbraith, candidate for Ohio’s 5th Congressional District seat, said the incumbent, Bob Latta (R-Bowling Green) breaks an important rule of being a public servant in that he never sees constituents.
“He’s never available to a cross section of the constituency,” he said. “When I’m elected, I intended to hold frequent town halls to hear from constituents from all 14 counties in the 5th District. That is a fundamental part of an elected official’s job.”
Heidenescher said 150 people had purchased tickets for the event, and he considers it a success.
“We’re going to try to get everyone fired up for Dems so Dems can win,” he said.
Reach Bryan Reynolds at 567-242-0362.