Opinion: Why you should remember to vote for Clyde



Elaina Sauber

Elaina Sauber

Elaina Sauber is a junior English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].

Most college students who participate in this election are first-time voters, myself included, and most are probably drawn to the polls to vote for a president. However, the presidential election often overshadows smaller elections, such as the Ohio House of Representatives.

Democrat Kathleen Clyde, a current state representative from Portage County, is running for re-election against Republican candidate Nick Skeriotis for the 75th Ohio House District. While Clyde has her incumbency to support her re-election, Skeriotis has spent more than twice as much as her on his campaign.

Clyde has also taken issue with the fact that her opponent distributed mailings and made statements that are “distorting her record and opinions on issues.” His advertisements have also tried to draw parallels between local issues and the Obama administration.

In a letter to the editor written by Skeriotis, he remarks on Obama’s apparent lack of knowledge about how businesses are run and suggests that Clyde, too, believes that government is responsible for the success of small businesses because of her recent appointment to the Democratic National Committee. She responded to these accusations as connecting her to “all sorts of federal policies that I have nothing to do with as one of the 99 members of the state legislature.”

As I read her swift, backhanded reply, I realized how out of place her opponent’s comments were. They’re running for a state government position — when the Ohio House of Representatives votes in favor of a bill, it’s the governor who has to sign it before it becomes a law.

That’s what makes Skeriotis’ remarks so discomforting: His aspired position has nothing to do with Obama or the federal government — at all. It’s hard to tell if he doesn’t understand that, or if he thinks that blaming a Democratic president will earn him votes.

When discussing his campaign with the Record-Courier, he mentioned Obama’s policies frequently.

“This has been the most divisive president in the history of America,” he said. “He will create a civil war in this country.”

“We made it for 200 years as the greatest nation on Earth. Now we’re becoming a girly nation … Everything the government touches it ruins.”

This mini-rant literally has nothing to do with his campaign, nor does it have anything to do with representing the voice of the 75th District. It’s very hard to tell where his priorities lie, as Skeriotis is a small business owner in Northeast Ohio who is clearly disgruntled with government regulations and involvement in the private sector.

I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt and read about his position on current issues, but they all spewed the exact same ideas about reducing the size of government, cracking down on aggressive government and EPA regulations that are hurting the economy and working for more states’ rights and less federal control — oh, and teaching Christianity in schools.

“We took out the Ten Commandments and now we have a void there and it’s filled with drugs, alcohol, teen pregnancy,” he said. “We have kids that go into school dumb and come out even dumber … Our founders wanted the Bible to be taught in our schools, in our education system.”

I realize that Skeriotis is the kind of candidate you listen to and then shake your head in disappointment, and I refuse to accept that this is the best candidate for the 75th Ohio House District; we deserve someone better to represent us.