DARKE COUNTY - Current State Rep. Richard Adams (R-Troy) will be defending his spot in the Ohio House of Representatives in this November’s election against Dave Fisher (D-Tipp City), chairman of the Miami County Democratic Party.
The two are both concerned with school funding and workforce development, but Rep. Adams, with his recent appointment to the Medicaid Committee, is also concerned on that front. Both candidates also agree that agriculture is an important issue for Darke County.
Rep. Adams was elected in 2008 with approximately 64 percent of the vote, and was re-elected in 2010 with 78 percent of the vote. Before running for a position in the Ohio House of Representatives, Adams was a Miami County commissioner with a self-imposed two-term limit, he said. When he was elected as a Miami County commissioner, the county was facing severe financial problems, he said, and by the end of his second term the county’s reserves had grown from $1.2 million to $13 million without raising taxes, he said. The county also built a new courthouse utilizing a temporary 5 Mills levy, and at the end of five years, there was not a need to renew the levy, Adams stated.
“My broad background has enabled me to get up to speed quickly,” Adams remarked. “The results have made me a conscientious law maker, helping Miami and Darke Counties at the state level.”
Adams has a background conducive to serving as a state representative, he said, from economics to education and agriculture, Adams has lived it. He has served on the Miami County Board of Elections, as the director of Unity National Bank, as the vice president of Clark State Community College, as the founding superintendent of the Upper Valley Joint Vocational School in Piqua, and has taught at both the high school and college level.
“I see being an elected official as a form of community service,” Adams commented. “As such, it’s important to realize that as a community service, I need to always remember, and I do, that people need to be involved in the process with access to the process. That’s why I attend a lot of meetings, have a half hour local-access television program; I want people to know what’s going on in Columbus.”
The issues that are important to Adams, he stated, are the issues that are important to the constituency he represents in Darke and Miami Counties. He always asks what legislation or policies might mean for the people he serves in Darke and Miami Counties, he said, and he works to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and economics of Ohio’s state government, while keeping his constituency in mind.
“I feel I’ve made a lot of progress, but more is needed,” Adams stated. “When I started, I made a checklist, and I’ve been checking items off of that list, and when they’re all checked off, I won’t run for office again.”
Dave Fisher of Bethel, Ohio feels that while things have changed for the better since he last ran for state representative in 2006, there’s still a lot of work to do, he said. He said that if he’s elected, he will focus on the 80th district, making sure his decision reflect his constituency’s needs. The economy, he said, is turning around, and while it’s slow, it’s still steady, better than a “boom and bust” he said.
Fisher said he currently has three jobs: running for office, chairing the Miami County Democratic Party, and working in the HVAC industry. One of his main focuses if elected, he said, will be jobs.
“I want to look at how we can bring jobs here,” Fisher stated. “Labor unions and the middle class are not the enemy, but it all comes back to schools. Strong schools produce a strong workforce. The Midwest has a dedicated, hard-working labor force, which is a great commodity. But they have to be educated and they have to keep up with the learning curve, it’s a constant battle to keep up. Companies in the Midwest are struggling to find educated and qualified workers.”
He brings a lot to the table, he said, having worked with local government in Bethel, and being a man with good common sense and people skills. Fisher said he loves to be around people, to listen to people and hear their issues, and then try to help. Fisher stated that he’s always been active in the civic world, specifically with Bethel Schools and the township, and he enjoys being in a leadership role.
On Oct. 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the American Legion hall on Ohio Street in Greenville, the Darke County League of Women Voters will hold a candidate’s night featuring the candidates for the 80th House District, the 84th House District, and the 2nd District Court of Appeals. Information on Issues 1 and 2 will also be presented, as well as information about uncontested candidates running in the 2012 election.