LaRose visits Lima to discuss Ohio businesses, elections

By Dean Brown - [email protected]

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose visited the Kewpee on Elizabeth Street.

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose visited the Kewpee on Elizabeth Street.

Dean Brown | The Lima News

LIMA — Secretary Frank LaRose spent a great amount of time in Lima on Friday speaking to Republicans, talking to Mayor Sharetta Smith, and looking at the Makerspace facility. But it was on Elizabeth Street where he enjoyed his Kewpee and Frosty and shared his thoughts.

As Ohio’s chief elections officer, the Secretary of State oversees the elections process and appoints the members of boards of elections in each of Ohio’s 88 counties. The Secretary of State supervises the administration of election laws; reviews statewide initiative and referendum petitions; chairs the Ohio Ballot Board, which approves ballot language for statewide issues; canvasses votes for all elective state offices and issues; and investigates election fraud and irregularities.

Although he received support from ex-President Donald Trump, he doesn’t think the election was stolen in Ohio. LaRose believes that Ohio has the correct balance of easy access to voting while maintaining voting security.

“There are always things that can be done. Ohio is in many ways the gold standard, but there’s no such thing as perfect. One of the things we have done is to keep accurate voter rolls. That means doing a better job of removing dead people, which we do a very good job; and making sure only citizens can become registered to vote.”

LaRose believes that Lima is heading in the right direction with its downtown development. “You need to have a downtown that has a live, work and play to it. There’s got to be places for people to live. Got to be work opportunities.”

Speaking about commercial developments such as Columbus’s Easton, “They’re trying to manufacture out of a field something that you guys have in the genuine article, and that is a downtown area. It’s not the same. You know they try to make it look like a small town, but it doesn’t have the history. It doesn’t have the culture. It doesn’t have the sense of place that Lima has. So what you guys have here in the downtown area is something that, if it’s cared for and if it’s given the TLC that it needs, it can be a really great community asset.”

The other part of the secretary of state job deals with businesses, large and small.

“This job is a platform that I’ve used to be an advocate for small business and to try to actually help make the state a more friendly place in which to do business. In 2020, the rate of new business formation started going through the roof. People were taking that opportunity to do what Ohio entrepreneurs have always done and that’s finding creative ways to deliver products and services in the free market that people want to pay for and make money doing it. People were starting new businesses — 171,000 new business in 2020. That was the record. We thought there’s no way this will be repeated. But it did in 2021. It was 190,000. So we’re hopeful that will continue.”

LaRose explained the opportunity he sees in his role as secretary of state. “I love my job. I love the job that I do because of the mission. I’m never going to spend a day, a week, or a month of my life doing something unless it’s something that I believe in. I believe in the work of this office because we do two things. We help people vote and we help people start a new business. I ran for this office because I think both of those things are empowering in the lives of people. To be able to choose your own leaders and to be able to engage in the free market economy is transformational for an individual or for a family.”

Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose visited the Kewpee on Elizabeth Street. Secretary of State Frank LaRose visited the Kewpee on Elizabeth Street. Dean Brown | The Lima News

By Dean Brown

[email protected]

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