CELINA — Voters in the 84th House District, which include northern Darke, most of Shelby and Auglaize and all of Mercer counties, will decide on a new representative Nov. 6. as incumbent republican Keith Faber has chosen to run for Ohio Auditor.
Republican candidate, Susan Manchester of Waynesfield and Democratic candidate Joe Monbeck are seeking to fill Faber’s open position. Both Manchester and Monbeck were born and raised in the 84th district.
Susan Manchester, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Urbana, won a three-way Republican primary race in May by defeating Travis Faber and Aaron Heilers.
She describes herself as an anti-abortion, pro-2nd Amendment fiscal conservative who wants to fight for lower taxes and lower spending. She believes that Ohio has been strengthened by Republican leadership.
Manchester feels one of the most important issues facing Ohio, and the 84th District in particular, is workforce development.
“We’re very blessed in the 84th House District to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state of Ohio, but every employer is struggling to find workers to fill jobs,” said Manchester.
Manchester cited numerous reasons why employers are struggling to find workers, such as workers not passing a drug test, not showing up for work on time, students not realizing the jobs exist after high school or community college and government assistance programs competing for able-bodied workers.
“I feel that something has to be done at the government level to allow people to pursue the path of self-sufficiency for the long term,” she said.
Manchester is seeking the position because while working for Jordan in Washington, she saw what works and what doesn’t work.
“I watched the legislative process firsthand, and frankly, I saw a lot of politicians who get into office and lose sight of who they are, where they came from and the people who elected them. That is something that I really want to put a stop to. I feel that Congressman Jordan was a great mentor and set a great example for me to staying true to the district that elected you and working hard to make sure that voice is heard,” said Manchester.
Manchester feels her political background is an advantage for the 84th District.
“I’m the candidate with the experience to get things done and the energy to see challenges through. I absolutely love this process being on the campaign trail and getting to meet folks all over the district. We have so much to offer for the state, nation and world and I’m excited to be an advocate for us,” said Manchester.
Monbeck is originally from Celina. He graduated from Celina High School in 1999 and went to the International Broadcasting College in Dayton. He is currently in sales with the newspaper out of Bellefontaine.
Monbeck is the middle son of three boys with a single mom.
“I was raised in a house where she had to work two and sometimes even three jobs just to get food on the table and a roof over our head, and sometimes that wasn’t enough. We needed the government assistance that becomes very popular at this time to talk about cutting. I wouldn’t be where I am today with out the assistance that was afforded to us,” said Monbeck.
Passion for public service runs in his family.
“Both my brothers are in the military, and public service has kind of been in our blood,” said Monbeck.
He feels two issues facing the 84th District are healthcare and employment.
“There are so many jobs available but we don’t have enough good employees to fill them. We’re doing a really good job with the hospitals, but there’s still that gap of people that can’t afford to see their doctor even on a regular basis,” said Monbeck.
Monbeck would like to see a change in party rule in Columbus.
“I feel like over the last three decades, we’ve seen a one-party rule in Columbus, and during that time we’ve seen nothing but corruption come from the statehouse. Also during that time, we’ve seen billions of dollars taken out of local government funds by the heavy hands in Columbus, and we’re seeing local governments either have to cut police or raise taxes or unincorporate because the state is not reimbursing them the way that they should be. We have $2.7 billion sitting in our rainy day fund in Columbus. Well, there’s many people around the state that would say, ‘It’s raining. It’s time to use the money,’” said Monbeck.
If elected, he would make sure that the Medicaid expansion stays, and he would like to see it expand even further, as well as lend support to workers’ rights.
“I am the only candidate in the race who has stuck up for workers’ rights to organize. I believe that in a free market society, unions should be encouraged rather than broken up. That is a major distinction between my opponent and I,” said Monbeck.
Reach Merri Hanjora at 567-242-0511.