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Voter Guide: Ohio US Senate races feature 11 candidates to replace Portman – Akron Beacon Journal

Welcome to the 2022 Voter Guide produced by the League of Women Voters and Akron Beacon Journal with funding from the Knight Foundation. 
This story focuses on the race for Ohio’s seat in the U.S. Senate.
Seven Republicans are seeking to replace retiring Sen. Rob Portman, R-Cincinnati. Four Democrats are vying for the Democratic nomination.
Candidate responses are not edited. Many chose to not respond.
A link to our complete interactive Summit County Voter Guide showing just races on your ballot can be found immediately below.  
Interactive 2022 Primary Voter Guide:Meet the candidates and view issues on your ballot
Training and Experience: Ohio Senator (24th District), Ohio Representative (98th District), Chief Assistant Prosecutor Geauga County, Assistant Ohio Attorney General, Partner – Thrasher, Dinsmore, & Dolan, Vice President – 7th Avenue Properties, Cleveland Baseball Company
Website:https://dolanforohio.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Dolan4Ohio
Twitter: https://twitter.com/dolan4ohio
Education: Juris Doctor from Case Western Reserve, University School of Law Bachelor of Arts from Boston College
Candidate did not respond to questions.
Website: https://www.gibbonsforohio.com/about
Candidate did not respond.
Website: https://www.joshmandel.com/
Candidate did not respond.
Website: https://neilpatelforussenate.com/
Candidate did not respond.
Website: https://pukitaforsenate2022.com/
Candidate did not respond.
Website: https://www.janetimkenforohio.com/
Candidate did not respond.
Website: https://jdvance.com/
Candidate did not respond.
Training and Experience: Recent experience: Director of Policy and Advocacy/Senior Advisor, American Economic Liberties Project, July 2020-August 2021 (on leave); Vice President, Knowledge Management & Strategy, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), March 2017-June 2019; Senior Advisor, Office of the Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), February 2016-February 2017; Special Advisor, Office of the Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), January 2015-February 2016
Website:https://morganharper.org/
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/mh4oh
Twitter: https://twitter.com/mh4oh
Education: Tufts University (Bachelors Degree), Princeton University (Master of Public Affairs), Stanford Law School (Juris Doctor)
What is the most pressing policy issue facing the federal government? What solutions will you promote? Over the past 40 years, concentrated power in almost every sector of the economy has made it more difficult for American workers, small businesses, and communities to succeed. This concentration has led to increased prices for everything from insulin, gas, and food, as well as lower wages and worse health outcomes. As part of my Opportunity Guarantee Plan, I would push for antitrust reform and better competition policy to address the concentration issue at the federal level to increase innovation, raise wages, lower prices, and ensure small and medium-sized businesses can grow. At one point, Ohio had more high-paying jobs than any state in the country. Today, we have one of the lowest. This is the unacceptable result of decades of manufacturing jobs getting shipped overseas. We need to stop multinational corporations from outsourcing jobs to low-paying, union-busting countries and dodging their taxes, and instead, create secure, high-paying jobs here at home.
How will you address challenges in the healthcare system? America has the most expensive healthcare system in the world, yet delivers among the worst results. Insulin costs more here than anywhere else in the world. One million Ohioans lost their jobs during the pandemic, and as a result many lost their healthcare coverage as well. Another four million struggle to afford it. At any moment, insurance companies providing healthcare can change the terms. Rising costs make healthcare an economic burden on both small businesses and workers. To do something about this, we must be honest about the forces arrayed against change. Big Pharma and the insurance industry pay billions lobbying Congress to keep healthcare costs high and healthcare outcomes low. To ensure coverage and control costs, we must implement universal health care through Medicare for All – including mental healthcare and access to addiction recovery services.
How will you address immigration policy? I believe that we need to make sure we are preserving the ability for all of us to have the immigrant story like my mother was able to have. My mom came to the United States in the 1960s from Trinidad, and she was able to work taking care of a family and pay her way through college and then get to the position of adopting me and my brother and enabling us to be strong members of our community. That’s what we all care about as Ohioans. What is it going to take to make it possible for those types of stories to continue to happen? We need to ensure that we have comprehensive immigration reform, and create pathways to citizenship for new people coming and those brought here as children. We can’t spend time trying to make it impossible for people to come or wasting money building walls that are political stunts. We need to stay focused on the reality. The reality is that America is a country made up of many immigrant communities and that is the opportunity that we need to be preserving.
The pandemic has brought to light social and economic inequities. What role does the federal government have in alleviating such inequities? The pandemic revealed inequities that were always present – especially when it comes to healthcare. Every American should be able to access affordable, high-quality healthcare, regardless of their employment, and that is why I support Medicare for All. The federal government has a responsibility to make sure that all Americans have access to healthcare, and are able to take time off from work when they’re sick or to care for a sick family member, which is why I also support paid family and medical leave. With the pandemic also increasing the number of people with disabilities, we must protect the civil rights and economic security of people with disabilities and their families. We need to expand and improve programs including Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) to ensure that they are meeting the needs of disabled people and their families.
What steps should the federal government take to assure free, fair and secure elections, and that every eligible voter has full access to the ballot? Far-right extremists have declared war on voting rights, the cornerstone of our democracy. We urgently need to fight back at the federal level. We must pass the John Lewis Act and the For The People Act, and work to make our elections more secure. The citizens of Washington DC deserve statehood. Arcane Senate rules like the filibuster cannot stand between our people and their rights. The Supreme Court should be expanded to restore balance after Trump stole seats to push the Court far right. At a basic level, our communities cannot gain back their power if our people are denied their right to vote.
What is the role of the federal government to protect the rights of women and LGBTQ Americans? We cannot let an extremist Supreme Court take away our fundamental right to choose. Our bodies are our own. This is a fight I will never, ever waver on. I was born to a teenager who was not prepared to raise me and gave me up for adoption. At the core of that story is a decision, a decision that every person has a right to make for themselves. I will fight to make sure the far-right cannot drag our communities backwards, putting lives at risk and cutting reproductive healthcare resources. We need to protect equal justice under the law for all Americans, and we must also end discrimination against LGBTQ people. Toward that end, it’s long past time for the Equality Act to become law. In addition, we must go further to address a wide variety of issues still facing LGBTQ Americans, while also remaining vigilant in protecting the legal progress we’ve already won. We must fight shoulder to shoulder to protect equality every day.
What is your position on efforts to protect our water, air, and land? Include how you will address climate change. I am strongly in favor of efforts to protect our water, air, and land. Protecting the future is one of the greatest challenges of our generation, but it’s also an opportunity – and Ohio can be a leader in getting us there. We must recognize that climate solutions will create well-paying union jobs for Ohioans. We need immediate federal investments to create as many as 600K clean energy jobs over the next 10 years. Wind turbine technicians make, on average, $52K per year, and represent one of the best maintenance and repair jobs in the country. We also must vastly improve our transportation infrastructure so workers have a reliable and safe route to work, while cutting back on emissions. We must create incentives for electric vehicle (EV) ownership and rapidly invest in building out the infrastructure to support those vehicles. And we can invest in making existing housing stock more energy efficient to address the climate crisis while also increasing housing supply.
What is your position on government oversight of gun ownership and safety? We need action to end the violence across Ohio and across the country. We need common sense gun legislation that will ensure we don’t see unnecessary loss of life due to gun violence. To start, that means three measures that we should enact immediately: 1) Requiring universal background checks, – we need to close loopholes so that background checks are required on all gun sales, not just sales by licensed gun dealers. 2) Implementing extreme risk protection orders – also known as red flag laws, which allow for temporary confiscation of weapons if someone is a threat to themselves or others and 3) Restricting access for those who have a history of domestic violence – if we know that someone has a history of domestic violence, they shouldn’t have access to guns, period. But we also need to recognize that many incidents of violence, including involving guns, connect to root causes like poverty that must be addressed as well.
What is the role of the federal government in assuring access to high-quality education (include PK – 20)? Ohio’s public schools and universities were the engine that built our middle class. But today, the future of Ohio’s young people is being erased by unequal school funding and massive student debt. We need to take federal action to forgive student debt, and invest in public colleges, HBCUs, trade schools, and community colleges to make sure young people are prepared for the jobs of the future here in Ohio. I support: 1) Free community college and trade schools for all. 2) Full student loan debt forgiveness. 3) Expanding trade schools to professional areas of future need, and building entrepreneurship programs into all of them. 4) Funding schools equally regardless of ZIP code.
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100076189489390
Twitter:https://twitter.com/Traci_TJJohnson
Education: Ohio University BA Political Science/Pre-Law, Pursued MA The Ohio State American Public Policy/Russian Politics
Candidate did not respond to questions.
Website: https://timforoh.com/
Candidate did not respond.
Website: https://www.lashondratinsley.com/
Candidate did not respond.

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