NAPOLEON — Education, the 2nd Amendment, healthcare, the environment and Issue 1 are some of the the main topics candidates for the 81st Ohio House District said they are looking to tackle if elected on Nov. 6.
State Representative Jim Hoops, R-Napoleon, is running for re-election for the Ohio House 81 District. The Napoleon resident previously served in the Ohio House from 1999 to 2006 and was the Henry County auditor from 1985 to 1998.
Janet Breneman is the Ohio House 81 District Democratic candidate and resident of West Unity. This is her second time running for a Ohio House seat, as she ran in the 67th District in 2016.
“It was in a red district and I had 38 percent of the votes,” said Breneman. ” Since 1955, there have only been seven people who have held the office and they were all Republican. That was kind of an incentive to me — to be able to give the people a choice.”
Breneman said she is a true supporter of the 2nd Amendment, but she would like some changes to be made in regards to gun licensing.
“I think that people should not be able to go to gun shows and purchase guns without them being registered,” said Breneman. “My suggestion would be if people are interested in gun shows, then they would have a passport, that they would have gone through a background check and have been approved.”
She also would like Ohioans to have access to a state or national health plan where everyone would pay their fair share for insurance.
“I get people call it socialism and socialized medicine, but other countries have done this before and have been successful at making sure that their people are healthy. In the long run, if we don’t use preventative medicine, the costs are astronomical.”
As far as health goes, Hoops expressed that he would like to see less abortions and more adoptions.
When it comes to the environment, Breneman is passionate about cleaning the Lake Erie basin and about writing legislation to protect natural resources like aquifers in Ohio.
Hoops is also passionate about cleaning up Lake Erie.
“I feel like everyone wants to have a clean Lake Erie,” said Hoops. “Agriculture is the No. 1 industry in my district and I believe most farmers are doing the right thing. The problem most times is Mother Nature.”
Hoops said he would also like to see less testing in school and more of a focus on what the educators are trying to accomplish. He also wants high school graduates to understand the importance of career centers.
“I worked at Northwest State Community College for three years and students who graduate realize that there are a lot of options out there for them, and it’s not just about going to a four-year school,” said Hoops. “Nothing against four-year schools. I think that they are part of the process, but four years of school is not for everyone. I would like to see a pathway that ensures students know about options other than college and getting the employers and educators working together.”
Hoops said he is opposed to Issue 1 because it lowers the threshold for drugs and possession penalties.
“My concern is that where Ohio is located, we could become a drug haven for the dealers,” said Hoops.
If re-elected, the workforce development issue would be the first thing he said he would tackle.
“We have to figure out how we get people who want to clean up their lives back in the workforce,” said Hoops. “The question is how you tell the difference and how those people get back on their feet to become productive citizens.”
Hoops believes that he would be the best candidate for the 81st District because he already has the experience, grew up in the community and is very familiar with the area. He said he enjoys working with people in the community and growing a rapport with them.
Breneman believes that she would be the best candidate for the district because she is familiar with the area and can relate to the struggles of Ohioans.
“I have walked in their shoes,” said Breneman. “I have worried about how I would pay my mortgage, how to feed my children and how to find a good paying job. I’m a person who is passionate about what I believe in. I want to be their voice in Columbus and am truly committed to helping them.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews.