OHIO — In today’s political era, winning a major election as an independent often requires some sort of miracle. But that hasn’t stopped a number of candidates from throwing their hats into the ring for statewide offices.
Becoming a write-in candidate is the simplest way to do so – individuals must simply register with the state’s approval. Once that’s done, a write-in line will become available. Voters will need to write-in a candidate’s name and fill in the associated “bubble” to ensure the vote is counted toward a write-in candidate’s total.
In the 2018 midterms, only three races — the governorship, secretary of state and Ohio’s Senate seat — have write-in candidates.
Stephen Faris for Ohio Senator
The 35-year-old Senate candidate Stephen Faris is a single-issue candidate focused on ending abortion by legally redefining abortions as crimes.
“Legally defining unborn human beings as persons will be achieved in Congress (without the Supreme Court) by amending Title 1 U.S.C. Section 8. My second priority requires States to issue a ‘certificate of life’ when individual unborn persons are medically recognized to exist,” Faris said in a Ballotpedia survey.
Rebecca Ayres for Governor
Ayres’s platform consists of a series of policies surrounding a single message — return the government’s power to the people — and she’s set up a website to collect campaign dollars from individuals to finance her campaign.
“The competition is sponsored by the powered elite. I’m sponsored by the people,” Ayres said. “I’m trying something new. I want people to be my power base.”
“If people had more independence, they could have the same (if not, greater) level of influence than even corporations. It is in fact businesses that keep people from their government,“ she said.
Richard Duncan for Governor
Duncan, of Aurora, ran for president in 2016 gaining 24,507 votes throughout the nation. In 2018, the 65-year-old is looking to become Ohio’s next governor.
“On a national and state level, much of our current lawmakers’ time is spent fighting between the parties in an attempt to win elections and to stay in power. I run as an independent to avoid this waste of time and bitter feelings,” Duncan stated on his website.
Renea Turner for Governor
From Springfield, Turner calls for more jobs, looser laws for Ohio’s emerging medicinal marijuana industry, lower taxes and getting rid of “corrupt politicians.”
Michael W. Bradley for Secretary of State
Party candidates Kathleen Clyde, Frank LaRose and Dustin R. Nanna are being challenged by write-in Michael W. Bradley for the state of Ohio’s chief election official.
Bradley, 64, of Akron, has run unsuccessfully for a city council seats in Streetsboro and Akron. In the past, he has worked for the University of Akron building services and the First Merit bank mailroom, according to reporting by the Chagrin Valley Today.
Third party candidates differ from write-in candidates in that due to their special status with the state they are represented on the ballot alongside major party candidates. In other words, to cast a vote for them, an individual need only to check a box.
Ohio has two minor parties offering candidates this year.
Constance Gadell-Newton for Governor (Green)
The Ohio Green Party currently has no one elected to any offices in the state, but the statewide progressive party does have at least seven candidates on the ballot, including Gadell-Newton. Five of them are looking to break into the General Assembly.
“We’re not a one-issue party. We have a well-researched platform that we’ve put together that cover a holistic set of issues. So we’re looking at our problems in Ohio kind of holistically. How we can solve those issues and with a broad vision of what it can look like when we have a green Ohio?” Gadell-Newton said during a Cincinnati rally.
While the “green” in green party echoes environmental policies, Gadell-Newton explained the party has a 10-part policy platform that has adopted some of the progressive points often touted by national politicians like Sen. Bernie Sanders.
The Green Party has an additional hurdle this year. Due to how Ohio certifies its minor parties, Gadell-Newton needs to win a three percent of the governor’s race to keep the party’s ballot access in upcoming elections.
As for the libertarian ballot access, they just gained it. After submitting 60,294 signatures to Ohio, the Libertarian Party was reinstated as a minor party just a week before deadline to register candidates. Even with the hurdle, they were able to qualify three candidate tickets to statewide offices and help ensure local party leader Don Kissick could run against major party candidates, Rep. Bob Latta and challenger Michael Galbraith, for the 5th Congressional District seat.
Travis Irvine for Governor (Libertarian)
From Bexley, Irvine ran for mayor of his town after graduating from Ohio University and then began working as a political operative for libertarians, most notably Gary Johnson’s presidential runs in 2012 and 2016.
In the League of Women Voters candidate guide, Irvine said he would push for the legalization of marijuana, the elimination of unfunded mandates from the state, increased freedom for schools to choose how they spend their funds and the repeal of Ohio’s Medicaid expansion.
Robert Coogan for Auditor of State (Libertarian)
A former accountant and auditor for a number of private companies, including Cincinnati Bell, Coogan said his third-party status would be a boon in keeping politics away from the auditor’s duties.
“My non-partisan approach as the Auditor of State will bring independence and objectivity to the analysis of risks to Ohio taxpayer dollars and the prioritization of audit resources. Decisions regarding entities/areas to audit will be free of conflicts of interest,” Coogan said.
Dustin Nanna for Secretary of State (Libertarian)
A homemaker/personal care professional running on the libertarian ticket, Nanna said he would work to expand voter rolls by creating an automatic voter registration system.
“I believe a system like this can keep the rolls clean without having to purge them of potential future voters. Voting is a right for any taxpaying citizen of Ohio and we should be doing our best to add folks to the rolls, not find ways to disqualify them that disproportionately affect minorities,” Nanna said.
Don Kissick for 5th Congressional District seat (Libertarian)
Kissick, of Ottawa, has ran for political office in the past. He challenged Jim Jordan in 2010 and ran for Allen County Commissioner in 2012. This time around, he’s up against incumbent Bob Latta for the Congressional 5th District seat.
Kissick, an autoworker, joined the Libertarian Party in 2009 after being disillusioned with the Republican Party. According to his website, Kissick’s 2018 campaign priorities include cutting federal spending, fighting for civil liberties, reforming criminal justice, preserving the second amendment and ending federal aid.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.